Monday, February 3, 2014

LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH 2-3-14 Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

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

I Am Bummed Out: Rhee Will Speak in Minneapolis Instead of Debating Me
As readers of this blog know, Michelle Rhee promised to debate me at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania last spring. The date was set, at her request, on February 6. Then she demanded a second, and I agreed. (Her second was going to be Rod Paige.) Then she demanded a third, and I agreed. Then she said she couldn’t find a third, and she canceled. Now I learn she is speaking to the Chamber of Commerc

Breaking News: Chicago Teachers Union Supports Parents Who Opt Out of ISAT!
This is not good news for Pearson, whose stock recently took a tumble. The Chicago Teachers Union is supporting parents who boycott the obsolete ISAT: NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                   CONTACT:                      Stephanie Gadlin February 3, 2014                                                                                                    

Pennsylvania Gov. Corbett’s Own Race to the Top: More Money for Rich Schools
Blogger Yinzercation describes Governor Tom Corbett’s latest proposal as a “Race to the Top” that will benefit the highest-performing, met affluent districts. He learned his lesson from Arne Duncan. Forget about equity. Forget about restoring the draconian cuts he made to the state’s suffering urban districts. Forget about the have-nots. Forget about Philadelphia, whose schools were stripped of ba

New Virginia Governor Wants to Eliminate A-F Report Cards for Schools
Maybe the tide really is turning! Terry McAuliffe, the newly elected Democratic governor of Virginia, said on a radio program that he wants to end the practice of giving letter grades to schools, a practice pioneered in Florida by Jeb Bush. McAuliffe recognized that the letter grades (which, by the way, are highly misleading, inaccurate, and unstable) have the effect of stigmatizing not only schoo
Idaho: Tom Luna Will Not Run for Re-Election
Another star in the corporate reform, teacher-bashing firmament goes dim. Tom Luna, author of the deservedly malligned Luna laws, is not running for re-election. The Luna laws were vintage corporate reform, but were soundly overturned in every county in red state Idaho. Luna is known for his devotion to online learning. His campaigns always attracted generous support from the tech industry, and

Florida: Joe Biden’s Brother on How Charters Succeed
Frank Biden, brother of Vice President Joe Biden, is president of the Mavericks charter chain in Florida, explained the secret of charter success. He said, “Biden, the brother of Vice President Joe Biden, offered some red meat, saying the school choice movement needs to continue organizing parents – and accumulating political power. “It’s all about the 501(c)(4) and how much money we get in it,”

Michigan’s EAA: A Scary Place for Kids with Disabilities
Eclectablog of Michigan continues its invaluable reports on the stste’s disastrous so-called “Educational Achievement Authority.” This one contains the testimony of a special education teacher. Governor Snyder has created a streamlined version of the school-to-prison pipeline.
That Chetty Study: Fire More Teachers with Flawed Data
Remember the study that claimed that teachers who produce higher test scores in fourth or fifth grade have miraculous lifetime effects on students? Among other things, the students are less likely to get pregnant and an entire class will increase its lifetime earnings by $250,000 a year! The study was reported on the first page of the Néw York Times, where one author said the lesson was to fire t
Bob Braun on Newark and the Pink Hula Hoop
Bob Braun has a fascinating blog where he writes about New Jersey politics and education, based on his 50 years of covering both as a reporter and columnist. Here he tells the story of the current administration’s determination to sell off public buildings to KIPP and perhaps other charter operators. Newark is under state control and has been since 1995. The state-appointed superintendent Cami And
Breaking News: Tennessee State Board Considers Dropping VAM!
In a startling development, the State Board of Education in Tennessee made clear at its meeting on Friday that it may eliminate or modify value-added measurement (VAM). State Commissioner Keven Huffman was stunned. Tennessee is the state where VAM got started, launched in the 1980s by agricultural statistician William Sanders. Based on his experience, Sanders assumed that it was possible to hold a


Deasy Testifies on Both Sides of Tenure Lawsuit
John Deasy, superintendent of the Los Angeles public schools, testified that it was outrageously expensive and time-consuming to fire a tenured teachers, but also acknowledged that good administrators don’t grant due process rights to ineffective teachers. Further, he took pride in the number of teachers to whom he denied tenure as well as the number he removed.
John Thompson: The California Tenure Case is a Sham
John Thompson, teacher and historian, didn’t use the word “sham,” but that was exactly his meaning in this good analysis of the case where the claim has been made that due process for teachers denies the civil rights of students. The reality, as Thompson notes, is that the lawyers for the plaintiffs aren’t even trying to show that any child has been harmed because of tenure. They aren’t trying bec

LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH 2-2-14 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 York: Help The State Assembly Choose New Regents Who Oppose High-Stakes TestingThe New York State legislature will shortly decide which candidates, among more than twenty applicants, will be appointed to four Regents positions. There are four candidates who have made a firm commitment to oppose high stakes testing and would bri