Tuesday, January 14, 2014

LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH 1-14-14 Diane Ravitch's blog A site to discuss better education for all

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StudentsFirst Issues Another Ludicrous State Report Card
StudentsFirst, the organization created by Michelle Rhee to promote her ideas about fixing schools by high-stakes testing and choice, has issued its second state-by-state report card. The highest scoring states are not those whose students have the highest achievement on NAEP; that would be Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Connecticut. No, the highest scoring states are those that do what Rhee did i
Chicago Parents Rally Against More Charters
MEDIA ALERT: TUESDAY FORUM PARENTS DEMAND HALT TO CHARTER EXPANSION- Community Organizations across Chicago Urge CPS to Vote Against Proposed Charter Expansion and Refocus on Protection/Funding of Neighborhood Schools What: Following the closure of 50 neighborhood schools due to budget and a so-called “underutilization crisis,” parents and community members are furious at the proposal for the crea


Schneider Critiques Anti-Union Billboard in Times Square
Mercedes Schneider, who teaches High school English in Louisiana, saw a photo of an ominous 5-story-high billboard in Times Square, New York City, attacking teachers’ unions. She knew who paid for the ad: the so-called Center for Inion Facts. Schneider had already written about this corporate public relations firm, and the billboard got her thinking about who might have funded this particular ar h


Will a Court Decision in Kansas Hurt Your School?
In an important opinion piece in the New York Times, David Sciarra and Wade Henderson explain how a court decision in Kansas might have national reverberations. In 2009, Kansas, like many other states, slashed school funding while approving tax breaks that benefited mostly upper-income Kansans. Spending on education dropped far below 2008 levels, leading to larger classes, layoffs of teachers and

Teachers with Training Wheels?
Levi B. Cavener is a special education teacher in Idaho. He recently wrote an article arguing that Teach for America recruits with five weeks of training should not be assigned to special education students. A spokesperson for TFA responded that it was okay because they would be getting the training while they taught. Levi says that is like teaching with training wheels. He writes: It’s not ok for

Politico.com Slants Its Coverage
In an article about the retirement of veteran Democratic Congressman George Miller, a favorite of hedge fund managers (DFER) and other supporters of high-stakes testing and privatization, politico.com used adjectives that showed a partisan bent. It wrote: “EDUCATION Miller exit leaves hole in ed leadership By MAGGIE SEVERNS and LIBBY A. NELSON and STEPHANIE SIMON 1/13/14 4:04 PM “Rep. George Mill

Why Philadelphia Can’t Afford to Pay for Public Education
Did you hear about the budget crisis that stripped Philadelphia’s public schools of teachers, nurses, librarians, supplies, and many other things? Did you read that the school district has a budget deficit of $300 million and that Governor Corbett wants teachers to take salary cuts and layoffs to save over $100 million? Did you read about the 12-year-old child who died because she had an asthma at
Two Anti-Parent Revolution Parents Accused of Vandalizing Charter School
Two parents who fought the takeover of their public school and its conversion to a charter school have been charged with vandalizing the school last June. They deny the charges. The vandalism occurred at the Desert Trails elementary school in Adelanto, California, which was the site of a bitter battle among parents after the state’s “parent trigger” law was invoked. The school is the first school
Julian Vasquez Heilig: Time to Look at Evidence About Teach for America
A new report by Julian Vasquez Heilig and Su Jin Jez reviews the evidence about the effectiveness of Teach for America. Their study, published by the National Education Policy Center, “challenges the simplistic but widespread belief that TFA is a clear-cut success story. In fact, Heilig and Jez find that the best evidence shows TFA participants as a group are not meaningfully or consistently impro
Columbus, Ohio: 17 More Charters Close
If schools were like shoe stores, they would open wherever there was a good location and close if they didn’t make a profit. Public schools, on the other hand, are community institutions, like parks and beaches. They should not be closed if they have low scores; they should get help. In Columbus, Ohio, charter schools are indeed like shoe stores. This year alone, 17 charter schools in that city cl
Gates Threatens to Yank $40 Million from Pittsburgh
According to Rick Cohen of the Nonprofit Quarterly, the Gates Foundation is threatening to take away $40 million from the Pittsburgh public schools if the district and union don’t agree on a plan to evaluate teachers by test scores, to reward the “best,” and retrain the rest. Does the Gates Foundation know that eminent researchers warn that VAM is inaccurate? Does it care that VAM has not worked
Outrage in Ohio: Charter Founder Paid Millions Without Any Invoices
How gullible are taxpayers in Ohio? How long will they remain willing to pay millions of dollars to a charter founder who is best known for campaign contributions? Why does Ohio’s ignore this outrage? Plunderbund documents the empire created by William Lager, founder of the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT) was paid $1 million in the first year his school opened. It is now the largest chart
LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH 1-13-14 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 Rochester Mayor Pledges More Charter SchoolsUpstate New York has had its share of failed charter schools. Some years back, Edison Schools had a charter school in Rochester, which was a disaster and later shuttered by its state authorizer.  Not far away another charter (acquired by Imagine Schools)  in Syracuse was shut down due

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