Saturday, January 11, 2014

1-11-14 Schools Matter All Week

Schools Matter

 Schools Matter All Week

When Corporate Psychology Replaces Child Development, KIPP Style
Dr. Martin Seligman is the most prominent leader of the popular movement and corporate cult known as positive psychology, which Dr. Bryant Welch describes as modern day version of Norman Vincent Peale's "power of positive thinking."Dr. Seligman is also the richest leader of the movement, after landing a $119 million contract from Pentagon generals in 2009 to administer positive psycholog
Buying Indy Mayor Ballard: School Privatizing Update
by Doug Martin Back in the summer of 2012, when the mayor of Indianapolis, Greg Ballard, was closing The Project School because it was the only charter school in the city not playing the game set up by the Indiana Corporate School Complex, I wrote about the various school privatizers funneling money into Ballard’s campaign, which included Walmart and Betsy DeVos front man Fred Klipsch, Mind Trust

JAN 09

Former KIPP Students Respond to KIPP Teacher Interview Excerpt
The KIPP damage control machine has not sprung into full action mode yet, but my recent sharing of a small clip from one interview with a former KIPP teacher has generated a number of comments here and here and here.  (Note that anyone other than those forced into anonymity for security or safety reasons should include real names when posting comments at SM).I include two responses below from two
Market-Driven Researchers Find that Reality Is Messy III
This is the third in a series of critiques of Matt DiCarlo's "The Year in Research on Market-Based Education Reforms: 2013." The preceding posts, here and here, summarized research on some obvious problems with value-added evaluations. This post addresses pitfalls that were discovered after those systems were implemented. The preceding post concluded with Dan Goldhaber's and Susanna Loeb

JAN 08

Anthem for High Stakes Testing Era (with apologies to Country Joe McDonald)
To be sung to the tune of “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die” by Country Joe and the Fish (see video below)Well come on all you teachers and tykes,Uncle Sam’s made a problem he’s tryin’ to hype,He got himself some pressure to privatize, All the schools in the nation right before our eyes,
So put down your books and grab a #2, We've got a whole lot of testin’ to do.
And its 1,2,3 what are we learning f

JAN 07

A longer (21-hour?) school day?
Sent to the Telegraph (UK), Jan. 7It is inspiring to read about Education Minister Truss' desire to lengthen the school day ("Schools should adopt Chinese-style lessons, says minister," Jan. 3). Her proposal to add an extra 30 minutes for "enrichment" and an extra hour for homework, however, fall far short of what is needed.Let's push ahead and consider an even longer day.A stu
Quantitative Research of 2013 that Reflects Reality, Part II
The inherent flaws of attaching stakes to value-added estimates of teacher effectiveness were obvious from the beginning. Even if a statistical model magically found a way to control for poverty, race, and other factors, there was no guarantee that systems would adopt the model that was most fair. Even if an algorithm was devised that was reliable for all types of schools across the country, there
Behind the Advocacy: TFA Remains Mostly Spin, Distraction
Teach for America: A Return to the Evidence, by Julian Vasquez Heilig and Su Jin Jez, may be too optimistic in its subtitle (not sure we've ever lingered at all with the evidence in order to return to it), but that aside, this report offers yet another clear message that TFA is far more agenda- than evidence- driven."The number of TFA corps members has grown by about 2,000% since its inceptio

JAN 06

Wake County Resegregationists' New Strategy: Charter Schools
It took a concerted effort by Wake County citizens to reclaim their school board after it was hijacked by anti-diversity candidates with money from the Koch Bros.  Some of that history can be found here (reverse chronological order), and it speaks to the determination of local citizens who remained insistent on protecting one of the great school experiments in socioeconomic diversity.Even though D
Weingarten Is A Sham
Randi Weingarten told Politico today that she is beginning a national campaign called “VAM is a Sham.”  NEW TACTIC ON TEACHER EVALUATIONS: Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, is launching a campaign against using value-added metrics to evaluate teacher effectiveness. Her mantra: “VAM is a sham.” That’s a notable shift for the AFT and its affiliates, which have previ
A Reality-Based Review of 2013 Market-Driven Research
Teachers unions exist to protect teachers and to do so they must work collaboratively within the system so it will better serve all stakeholders. The Shanker Istitute's Matt DiCarlo exemplifies our unions' willingness to listen to all sides.But, where is the Matt DiCarlo of corporate reform? Where is a reformer who is will break ranks, for instance, on Washington D.C.'s IMPACT? There are plenty of

JAN 05

The Daniels-Lumina-ALEC-Sallie Mae-Purdue-Gallup Index: What Everyone Needs to Know
by Doug MartinAs a means to hold Purdue and other universities “accountable,” Mitch Daniels, in late December, announced the Purdue-Gallup Index which will track how well students in higher education fit into the US workforce.  Anyone who followed Daniels' corporate school agenda while he was governor (or anyone following the corporate school leaders anywhere, for that matter) understands that usi
Share My Lessons, Brought to You By AFT's Innovation Fund (Gates Foundation)
As Bill Gates like to say, if you can't beat 'em, then buy 'em.  Which is what he has done with American education policy, from control of the Business Roundtable's education agenda all the way through the AFT and NEA. Since 2009, Weingarten has been adding to AFT's nine-digit bank balance by accepting corporate foundation cash to promote Common Core, VAM tests, teacher evaluations based on test s
Pearson's aimsweb Behavior Module
If you like Pearson's DIBELS-style nonsense reading test for young children, you are sure to find a place for Pearson's Behavior Module for turning children in test-passing robots.  Like Pearson's other product lines in the aimsweb suite, it is entirely web-based so that your children's records can be stored for as long as there is a reason to manipulate their data and their lives.With aimsweb Beh

JAN 04

Nashville School Board Backs Away from Pearson Nonsense-Based Reading Test
During the early years of the Reading First corporate feeding frenzy that dumped a cool billion dollars a year into worthless reading programs blessed by crackpot, Reid Lyon, and a handful of his corrupt cronies housed principally at the University of Oregon, a reading assessment called DIBELS became required if your state or city wanted a shot the Reading First grants.  It is based, essentially,