Thursday, March 20, 2014

LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH 3-20-14 Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

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

Breaking News! Florida Voucher Expansion Bill Withdrawn!
Great news! The sponsor of the Florida voucher bill withdrew it, as it sailed through the Florida House, after the State Senate insisted that voucher schools would have to take state tests. “After promising a “massive expansion” of school choice options this session, House Speaker Will Weatherford retooled his rhetoric Thursday after the Senate dropped plans to take up a proposed build-up of the
Breaking News: Worcester, Mass., Supports Parents Right to Opt Out!
Although Mayor Joe Petty lobbied hard to reverse the school committee’s decision to allow parents to opt out, the school committee stuck with their original decision. Parents mounted a “say no to Joe” campaign, and the school committee agreed with the parents who elected them. Parents are free to opt their children out of PARCC Common Core field testing.

Where Is All That Money Going?
A teacher writes in response to an earlier post about the vendors making lots of money these days, but not schools or classrooms: hahaha… I can laugh now, but, until I retired, I taught in a portable classroom, where termites would fly from the walls and I had to get rid of the smell of cat urine when I moved in.Yet, I had a smartboard, responders, laptop along with desk computer (T1 line plus wif

David Berliner Testifies at the Vergara Trial
The distinguished education researcher David Berliner testified yesterday at the Vergara trial in Los Angeles. The issue is whether teachers should be permitted to have tenure; the plaintiffs say that job protections for teachers deny the civil rights of children. Last week, the teacher of the lead plaintiff testified; he does not have tenure. He has never had disciplinary proceedings or any negat
Shocker! North Carolina Does Not Deserve Duncan’s Congratulations for Improving Teaching
As I reported earlier today, Arne Duncan reviewed the results of the $4.3 billion competition called “Race to the Top,” and he lauded four states for making the most progress: Hawaii, Delaware, North Carolina, and Tennessee. Note that two of the four states are controlled by legislatures and governors that are to the far-far-far right: North Carolina and Tennessee. The commissioner of education in
The “New York Times” Misses the Big $tory about Millions for Charter TV Ad Campaign
A reader notices that the New York Times discovered that $236,000 of private money was spent to advocate for Mayor de Blasio’s plan for universal pre-kindergarten. But the Times did not find it newsworthy that $3.6 MILLION was spent to dramatize the plight of Eva Moskowitz’s charter schools. From a confidential source, I know that the Times’ reporters had the information about the $3.6 million but
Erica Bryant: How NASA Differs from NY State Education Department
The Rochester Teachers Association is suing the state for its flawed evaluation system, which unfairly judges teachers. Erica Bryant explains why in this article. “Years ago, I visited the Kennedy Space Center and bought a coffee mug from the gift shop. It is decorated with some NASA equations, including one used to calculate the speed an object needs to escape Earth’s gravity. This formula fits

California: The Language Police Are on the Job!
A teacher in California sent me the latest state testing guidelines and was disturbed to see the large number of forbidden topics. I was not surprised because in 2003, I published a book called “The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn.” I reported that testing and textbook publishers, the federal government and state education agencies collectively adhere to a long l
Congressman Supports NPE’s Call for Congressional Hearings on Testing
PRESS RELEASE March 19, 2014 Contact: Robin Hiller phone: 520-668-4634 email: Anthony Cody  phone: 510-917-9231 email: Member of Congress joins with   The Network for Public Education and calls for public hearings on the misuse and abuse of standardized tests. Massive social networking camp
Breaking News: Charter Advocates Spent $3.6 Million on Attack Ads Against de Blasio
The New York Daily News reports that pro-charter advocacy groups spent $3.6 million on attack ads against Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to deny 3 charter applications to Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy charter chain (while approving 5 of her other applications). They spent these millions while claiming that they could not afford to pay the city rent for use of public space. Current state legisla
Did StudentsFirst Buy Facebook “Likes” in Bangladesh?
The Tennessee Mama Bears did some research. They wanted to know who was giving all those “likes” to the StudentsFirst Facebook page. Here is what they found. It is hilarious.  Check out the graphics.   STUDENTSFIRST’S “LIKES” ON FACE BOOK: PATHETIC POPULARITY CONTEST 03/18/2014     Momma Bears has often wondered about the gullible people who fall for the StudentsFirst sales pitch.  Students
Bill McDiarmid: North Carolina’s Legislature Is Destroying Public Education
Only days before Arne Duncan hailed North Carolina as one of the stars of the Race to the Top, Bill McDiarmid, dean of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, warned that public education was in dire peril in the state.  Although North Carolina was once renowned as the most forward-looking state in the south, known for fundings its schools and for promoting statewide early childhood educa
Matt Di Carlo Warns about Expecting Too Much
In a recent post on the Shanker Blog, researcher Matt Di Carlo chastises those “reformers” who expect transformational results from educational interventions. “A recent report from the U.S. Department of Education presented a summary of three recent studies of the differences in the effectiveness of teaching provided advantaged and disadvantaged students (with the former defined in terms of value-
Songer: Is PARCC Developmentally Inappropriate for High School Students?
Gerri K. Songer of the Illinois Township High School, District 214, conducted a Lexile analysis of the PARCC assessment and what she found was very alarming. The reading levels embedded in the assessment are absurdly high. Many young people will fail the PARCC test because it is developmentally inappropriate for high school students. What exactly is the point of writing a test at a level that larg
Peter Greene: Duncan Hails North Carolina for Improving Teachers (Really)
Peter Greene noticed in his scan of reports from Arne Duncan that Duncan singled out the super stars of his Race to the Top. Most surprising of all was that North Carolina won a gold star for improving the teaching profession. To call this startling is an understatement. Don’t take my word for it: Read what Duke University Professor Helen Ladd and former New York Times education editor Edward Fisk
LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH 3-19-14 Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all
Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all: KrazyTA Explains What Bill Gates Wants for His Own ChildrenThe most famous line ever written by John Dewey was this: “What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all its children. Any other ideal for our schools is narrow and unlovely; acted upon, it destroys our democracy.” Our frequen