Saturday, April 12, 2014

4-12-14 Schools Matter All Week

Schools Matter: 

 Schools Matter All Week

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At the end of Part 1 of my conversation with Jane, the results for the first interim assessment for the state test had been announced, and the KIPP administration was in crisis mode due to lower than expected scores.  JANE: So when they had their big crisis . . . . And these kids, honestly, a lot of them don’t have dads. You know? They come from rough families. They don’t have a lot of stability.

Dirt Update: Doug Martin on Workers' Voice Show Today at 5 PM EST
by Doug MartinI want everyone to know I am now working on several new dirt-pieces to expose more politicians and corporate school reformers and will post them in the very near future.  Since the release of my book Hoosier School Heist on March 21, I have been very busy travelling throughout Indiana and lining up more travelling gigs. Tonight from 5 PM to 6 PM EST, I will be talking about women's r
A KIPP Teacher Speaks of Her Nervous Breakdown and Post-KIPP Recovery, Part 1
The following excerpts are from an interview conducted in February and March of this year.  The findings from these in-depth conversations will comprise a significant part of a book I am writing about the experience of teaching in the No Excuses corporate reform charter schools.  When Jane became a KIPP teacher, she had a non-education Bachelors, a Masters in Education, and several years of succes
A weapon of mass distraction
Sent to the New York Times,April 11, 2014Yes, there's a big problem with the tests ("We need to talk about the tests," April 10). but there's a bigger problem: The whole idea of the common core. Accurately described by Susan Ohanian as  “a radical untried curriculum overhaul and ... nonstop national testing," the common core is an outrageous scheme with no justification and no empir

APR 10

You Tell Them, Dr. Finn: Testing Today and Testing Forever
In a segment of a documentary some years back that assessed the Civil Rights Movement and its effects on education in America, Professor Chester Finn rightfully put into context all the unnecessary trouble that had been created for what, pray tell:I don't doubt that some things are better off and I think that not being able to discriminate kids on the basis of their skin color is progress for the
We Need to Do More than Talk about the Goddamn Test
Some of us have been waiting a long time for mainstream educators to realize that corporate education reform is not about closing the achievement gap but, rather, closing public schools.  Since 2002, standardized tests have been used to label, demonize teachers, sort and culturally-sterilize students, and shut down schools to benefit the education technology complex and the low-life losers of the
The Raj Chetty VAM Balloon Gets Popped
From NEPC:Contact: William J. Mathis, (802) 383-0058, wmathis@sover.netMoshe Adler, (917) 453-4921, ma820@columbia.eduURL for this press release:, CO (April 10, 2014) – A highly influential but non-peer-reviewed report on teacher impact suffers from a series of errors in methodology and calculations, according to a new review published today.Professor Moshe Adler
America's Top Corporate Education Welfare Queen, Joanne Weiss
Joanne Weiss is an active exemplar for corporate welfare exploitation in education.  Just a few years ago, she moved from a tech firm to become COO for the New Schools Venture Fund, which grew to be a massive slush fund for vulture philanthropists, following Bill Clinton's undercover operation that made it possible to earn really big bucks by backing charter schools and other ed industry bad ideas

APR 09

K12NN: American Statistical Association has just released a very important document on Value Added Methodologies
First published April 9, 2014 on K-12 News Network "The President of the United States and his Secretary of Education are violating one of the most fundamental principles concerning test use: Tests should be used only for the purpose for which they were developed. If they are to be used for some other purpose, then careful attention must be paid to whether or not this purpose is appropriate&
Duncan Lies to Congressional Subcommittee
Is Congress as stupid as Arne Duncan would like for them to be?  Team Obama has been pumping Common Core since Bill Gates became the real Secretary of Education in 2009.  Every state hoping for a chance at an RttT handout signed on to Common Core as a prerequisite for any chance to win.  Does Duncan really believe that his lies will save the doomed corporate testing delivery system that his team p
Responding to Karin Klein of the LA Times' 'Why my family is opting out of the Common Core testing'
"The U.S. can do a much better job evaluating children, teachers and schools. That's why protests against standardized testing misuse and overuse are exploding across the nation."—FairTest The Los Angeles Times' long time school privatization cheerleader Karin Klein penned an interesting piece today entitled Why my family is opting out of the Common Core testing. The following is my resp

APR 08

Tens of Thousands Opt Out in New York: A Determined Movement Is Born
Michelle Chen has a nice piece in The Nation, which deserves double attention.  A small clip:The families and educators who have opted out might be taking a militant stance, but with the integrity of public education under threat, no high-stakes data points can trump the defense of the open mind.
Korea's Test Scores High Despite Schools and Teachers
by Michael Horn for Forbes:In my travels throughout Korea, in virtually every meeting I heard a variation of the same theme. “Why does President Obama think that Korean schools are good?”Although there are disputes about how much Obama or Education Secretary Arne Duncan like Korean schools—see here and here, for example—there is no question that Korea’s students’ consistently high PISA scores and
Helen Gym Philadelphia Hero
When parents unite for public schools.From Helen Gym: By far one of the most intense experiences of my life was going on stage atTEDx Philadelphia at the beautiful Temple Performing Arts Center on March 28. TEDx is quite the production, and my fellow speakers were simply stunning. From the luminous Natalie Nixon who talked about seeing life through jazz, to talks on education from Science Leadersh
Corporate Welfare Charter Schools--the Vampire Squid of Education
from Alan Singer at HuffPo:On Sunday, March 23, 2014 in a speechat Riverside Church in Manhattan, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, faced with declining public opinion poll numbers, made nice to charter school companies and their wealthy backers. He told congregants that his administration and the charter movement have a common goal and share common ground. But de Blasio should not have made nic

APR 07

Brooklyn Schools Lead the Way
 “There was inappropriate content, many highly ambiguous questions, and a focus on structure rather than meaning of passages.” Brooklyn schools lead the way. From The NationThere’s a growing nationwide movement opposing these tests as the result of a corporate-driven agenda that has distorted real learning, widened the achievement gap, increased financial strain on schools and parents, unfairly st

APR 05