Saturday, May 31, 2014

5-31-14 NPE News Briefs ← from The Network for Public Education

NPE News Briefs ← from The Network for Public Education:

NPE News Briefs

from The Network for Public Education

NPE endorses Sherlett Hendy Newbill for LAUSD School Board District 1
PRESS RELEASE Contact: Robin Hiller Phone: 520-668-4634 Email: For Immediate Release Network for Public Education endorses Sherlett Hendy Newbill for LAUSD School Board District 1 May 24, 2014 The Network for Public Education (NPE), a national organization that fights to protect and preserve our public education system, has endorsed Sherlett Hendy Newbill for LA
NPE endorses Valarie Wilson for Georgia State Superintendent
The Network for Public Education is pleased to endorse VALARIE WILSON for State School Superintendent in Georgia. Valarie brings the perspective of an engaged parent to the campaign and will fight to advance, protect and improve the state’s public schools and, like NPE, she opposes the forces of privatization that are working hard in Georgia. “I’m very troubled by the movement to sell our schools

News Flash: Failed Education Policies Will ALWAYS Fail Our Children | Alternet
What do third-grade retention policies based on reading tests, charter schools, tracking, and parental choice have in common? First, across the U.S., they all have a great deal of public and political support. Second, the research base on all of these policies ( among many other popular policies) has shown repeatedly that they do more to more
Motoko Rich Shows: Far Right Opposes Common Core | Diane Ravitch’s blog
It is getting to be a dizzying experience to read about the Common Core on the Néw York Times. When Motoko Rich reported from Tennessee, she found an unlikely left-right alliance questioning the standards. A few days later, and the familiar script is back in place: only the far right opposes this fine experiment. Once more


#EducatingGatesRally June 26th | Seattle Education
There’s a lot of issues about governance, whether its school boards or unions, where you want to allow for experimentation, in terms of pay procedures, management procedures, to really prove out new things. As those things start working on behalf of the students, then I believe the majority of teachers and voters will be open-minded more
An Important New Study on Efforts to Privatize Teacher Education | Diane Ravitch’s blog
Teachers College Press has published a major study of venture philanthropy and its efforts to introduce market forces into teacher education. It was written by Kenneth Zeichner and Cesar Pena-Sandoval of the University of Washington in Seattle. The article focuses on the key role of the NewSchools Venture Fund in promoting legislation to authorize charter more
Is the $1 trillion student loan debt really a crisis? — Part 2 | The Answer Sheet
Earlier this month I published a post titled “Is the $1 trillion student loan debt really a crisis?” by Donald E. Heller, dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University, which sparked a lot of comments and questions. It started out this way: For the last couple of years, ever since the outstanding volume more
The Hidden Benefit of Charter Schools | Diane Ravitch’s blog
Jersey Jazzman goes through the reasons why the corporate elites and rightwing think tanks love charter schools. It is not because they get better results. They don’t. It is not because they save money. They don’t. They are very effective at busting unions. Nearly 90% of the nation’s charters are non-union. This makes possible a more
Endgame: Disaster Capitalism, New Orleans, and the Charter Scam | the becoming radical
The horror of 9/11 in 2001 and the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 captured both the 24/7 media attention and cultural consciousness in the U.S. In the wake of both, however, the impact of disaster capitalism has remained mostly ignored and unchallenged. This is the U.S. response to 9/11: Memories, by Ted Rall, Universal UClick more
Carol Burris: Anybody But Cuomo | Diane Ravitch’s blog
Carol Burris eloquently explains why she will vote for Anybody But Cuomo. She remembers when Democrats fought for good public schools for all. She remembers when Democrats saw funding public schools as a civic obligation, not as “throwing money at the problem.” She wants a governor who believes in public schools, and that is not more
Bobby Jindal Rebukes Jeb Bush on Common Core | Scathing Purple Musings
I guess he really means it. From CNN reporter Dana Davidsen: Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal said Thursday he’s against Common Core, the academic standards that have many conservatives decrying the program as an overreach of the federal government “I’m against the Common Core, and I don’t want Louisiana to be in the Common Core,” more

MAY 29

20 million student records put at risk by ConnectEDU’s bankruptcy — & what lessons if any have tech enthusiasts learned from the inBloom debacle? | NYC Public School Parents
ConnectEDU was one of the three data dashboard companies chosen by the NY State Education Department to receive a statewide set of personal student data through the inBloom data cloud, as part of their “EngageNY Portal.”  Now ConnectEDU has announced it has gone bankrupt, despite receiving a $500,000 grant from the Gates Foundation less than more
The Newark School Reform Wars | The Nation
Every time Newark shows up on the national radar—from Cory Booker’s celebrity turn to Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million gift to Ras Baraka’s victory in the mayoral race earlier this month—its schools have been in the spotlight. In Mayor-elect Baraka, the school reform project inaugurated under Booker and Governor Chris Christie has met its most formidable more
In the ‘Post-Racial Era’: The Pre-school-to-Prison Pipeline | Mike Klonsky’s SmallTalk Blog
Black children make up 18% of preschoolers (mostly 4-year olds), but make up nearly half of all out-of-school suspensions. — NPR Quick-trigger suspensions of African-American students, especially boys, in vastly disproportionate numbers often for the same offense as other students, is a powerful indicator of (well why not call it what it is) institutional racism. more
Newark’s Failed Experiment Illustrates Reformers’ Overreach | @ THE CHALK FACE
BY JOHN THOMPSON LEAVE A COMMENT Dale Russakoff’s New Yorker profile, “Schooled,” starts with a description of the dysfunctionality of the Newark Public School System: The ratio of administrators to students—one to six—was almost twice the state average. Clerks made up thirty per cent of the central bureaucracy—about four times the ratio in comparable cities. more
Why Is This Charter School Management Company Still in Business? | Huffington Post
Because they are private corporations it is very difficult to get information on the operation of for-profit charter schools, charter school management companies, and the financial groups behind both the for-profit charter school industry and the non-profit sector. This company, National Heritage Academies, stands out because of its electronic “paper trail.” It is a cautionary more
GUEST: Top Newark student says time to speak is now | Bob Braun’s Ledger
Today’s guest blog was written by Jordan Thomas, a senior at Newark’s University High School where he is valedictorian and earned a 4.5 GPA. He was admitted to Princeton, Harvard, Yale, and Rutgers and will attend Princeton in the fall. He plans to go to law school and become a Constitutional lawyer. He was  the student member more
What Reformy Thing Most Needs To Die? | CURMUDGUCATION
It’s a fun thought experiment. If you could erase one aspect of the Reformy test-driven high-stakes privatizing Core-loving status quo, which would it be. If you had the political power to eliminate one head of the public-education-crushing hydra, which decapitation would lead your list? Yes, this is like playing “What would you do if you more
Segregation, Dropping Struggling Students Common in Florida Charter Schools | Scathing Purple Musings
Diane Ravitch links to a Florida League of Women Voters study which detailed much of what readers of this blog already know  about the slimy, corrupt world of Florida’s charter school industry. Approximately one-third of charters are run by for-profit management companies. Many screen students, then drop those who are not successful, which public schools more
Mercedes Schneider on the Warm Relationship Between Gates and Pearson | Diane Ravitch’s blog
Somehow I missed this piece when it appeared several months ago. It is a Mercedes classic, where she shows her skill at reading tax returns and connecting the dots. You may or may not recall that Attorney General of New York Eric Schneiderman fined the Pearson Foundation $7.7 million for engaging in activities related to more
For-Profit Firm Will Open Largest Charter in Florida | Diane Ravitch’s blog
Academica, the largest charter chain in Florida, won approval to open the state’s largest charter school in Miami-Dade, with 3,000 “student stations.” The firm operates for-profit. A month ago, the Miami Herald reported that the chain was under federal investigation for its business practices. A report yesterday by the Florida League of Women Voters pointed more
Triumph of Reform: Last Public School in New Orleans Closes | Diane Ravitch’s blog
Lyndsey Layton of the Washington Post describes the triumph of the reform movement in New Orleans: The last public school has closed for good. A few observations. All schools in New Orleans are now charter schools. . It’s hard to compare achievement pre-and post-Katrina because so many students never returned after the hurricane. Test scores more
Tennessee Commissioner Huffman’s Machiavellian Methods? | VAMboozled
Following up on two of my most recent posts, the first about Commissioner Huffman’s (un)inspiring TEDxNashville talk in which he vociferously celebrated Tennessee students’ recent (albeit highly questionable) gains on the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) scores, and the second about Huffman’s (and the Tennessee Department of Education’s) unexpected postponement of the release of ..
Diane Ravitch a candidate for New York governor? | The Answer Sheet
Diane Ravitch a candidate for New York governor? New York newspapers, including The New York Times, are reporting that the Working Families Party, whose New Jersey affiliate just helped get Ras Baraka elected mayor of Newark on the issue of school reform, is considering making her its candidate in this November’s election if it decides more

MAY 28

Massive layoffs in Newark? Never mind. Cami was just joking. | Bob Braun’s Ledger
State-appointed Newark schools superintendent Cami Anderson sent out an email late yesterday saying she had all but miraculously found a way to prevent massive teacher layoffs that had been predicted earlier. She also promised to stay in her job at least until next year. While not saying there would be no layoffs at all, she said the firings more
Surrogates Beginning to Flack for Jeb Bush on Common Core | Scathing Purple Musings
Its begun. Badly needing to talk about something else than Common Core Standards, Jeb Bush’s surrogates have begun to do it for him. Consider a Lloyd Brown piece in Sunshine State News. Brown is a former speechwriter for Bush: After I retired, I worked for him (Bush) briefly and again was impressed. His approach to more
#AskArne: Teach To Lead To Lead The Teaching Leaders | CURMUDGUCATION
Bad news: Arne and the US DOE are back with another scrumdiliicious video interview with his royal Arneness. Good news: It’s not all completely ridiculous. And as always, I’ll watch it so that you don’t have to. More times than usual, it turns out. I like to watch with the sound off to get a more
Jon Pelto Exploratory Committee for Governor of Connecticut Is Open | Diane Ravitch’s blog
Jon Pelto has taken the first steps towards running for Governor of Connecticut. He has formed an exploratory committee to determine strategy and a course of action. If you want to help Jon, the information is available in this post. In a democracy, anyone should be able to run for office, but the process is more
John Thompson: What Will Zuckerberg Learn From Newark? | Living in Dialogue
By Anthony Cody on May 28, 2014 9:47 AM Guest post by John Thompson. Dale Russakoff’s New Yorker profile “Schooled” is a wonderful account of Mark Zuckerberg’s $100 million investment in Newark school reform, and how and why it failed. Perhaps the best new revelation in “Schooled” starts with the lesson Russakoff learned from a more
When Maya Angelou blasted Obama’s school-reform policies
The legendary poet and author Maya Angelou, who just passed away at the age of  86, was a big supporter of President Obama, and in 2011, he awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. But she also was a critic of his school-reform policies, raising her voice last year to blast more
Charter Cap ‘n Gown | EduShyster
That path to college turns out to be exceptionally narrow…‘Tis the season to celebrate our boy and girl graduates, reader. And in Massachusetts, aka the Achievement State, what better way to do just that than by raising the cap on excellence itself with a bold vote to hoist the cap on charter schools? Presto! Like more

MAY 27

Is Boston’s school district eliminating history department as part of Common Core?
BY VALERIE STRAUSS May 27 at 1:12 pm The Boston public schools district found itself in the position of having to issue a public statement denying that it was eliminating its history and social studies department after someone posted on the Web that it was and the news went viral in the education world. Historians more
For Black Kids in America, a Degree Is No Guarantee – Janell Ross – The Atlantic
JANELL ROSSMAY 27 2014, 12:24 PM ET The Ivy-League-educated barista who can’t find a job that pays enough to live anywhere besides her childhood bedroom. The freshly minted MBA and law-school graduates strapped with debt and frustrated about the six-figure jobs and master-of-the-universe titles that haven’t materialized. Nearly five years after the Great Recession officially ended, the mor
New Mexico: Another VAM Disaster | Diane Ravitch’s blog
Thus far, the concept of VAM–or value-added measurement–has an unbroken record of failure. Wherever it has been tried, it has proven to be inaccurate and unstable. Teacher and student records are erroneous. Teachers are judged based on students they never taught. VAM demoralizes teachers, who understand they are being judged for factors over which they more
CPS test to 7th graders has controversial immigration question | WBEZ 91.5 Chicago
By: Linda Lutton Flickr/AFS-USA File: Exam A test question for Chicago Public Schools seventh graders is being called “offensive,” “racist,” and factually inaccurate by groups as disparate as the Illinois GOP and the Chicago Teachers Union. The district temporarily yanked the controversial question—part of a new battery of tests meant to determine the effectiveness of more
Yong Zhao: Shanghai May Drop Out of PISA, Not Interested in Being #1 | Diane Ravitch’s blog
This is stunning news from Yong Zhao of the University of Oregon. Zhao, who was born and educated in China, reports that Shanghai education officials may stop participation in PISA. Zhao, a critic of the international race for test scores, writes on his blog: ““Not interested in #1 on International Tests, Focusing on Reducing Academic more
Obama Administration’s College Rating Proposal Threatens Core Educational Values | janresseger
As May turns to June and summer weather arrives, this blog will take a week-long break.  Back on Tuesday, June 3. Over the weekend, the NY Times reported on Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s planned rating system for American colleges and universities.  At a time when we have seen an explosion of marginal, for-profit, often on-line more
What’s Really Wrong with Advanced Placement Courses and College Board? | the becoming radical
“Fraudulent schemes come in all shapes and sizes,” asserts John Tierney, adding, ” To work, they typically wear a patina of respectability. That’s the case with Advanced Placement [A.P.] courses, one of the great frauds currently perpetrated on American high-school students.” Tierney calling the A.P. program from the College Board a scam seems at first to more
The 2008 Common Core Sales Job: Part Three | deutsch29
In 2008, the National Governors Association (NGA), the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), and Achieve, Inc., released a report, Benchmarking for Success: Ensuring U.S. Students Receive a World-class Education. I have examined this report in two previous posts.  In Part One of my series on this report, I considered the report’s absence of discussions of national debt more

MAY 26

A Textbook Case of Charter Skimming | Diane Ravitch’s blog
Charter schools were created to help the neediest students. Now, however, many charters skim off the most advantaged students and avoid those who are needy. This harms the public schools, removing their best students and overloading them with the students who require the most services. It doesn’t get any clearer than this: “Woodland Community Consolidated more
Obama Brings NCLB-Think to Higher Education | Diane Ravitch’s blog
The Obama administration wants to rate institutions of higher education, based on factors like cost,graduation rate, income of graduates. Most college and university presidents are upset. It didn’t help that one administration official said that comparing the cost and quality of institutions of higher education should be no more difficult than comparing blenders. For some more
UCLA Professor Emeritus Jim Popham: His Testing and Teacher Evaluation Infomercial | VAMboozled
Jim Popham, Emeritus Professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), is best known for his decades of research on testing and assessment. Many of you might be familiar with his work have you ever read his classic textbook on assessment: Classroom Assessment: What Teachers Need to Know. He more
John White’s Journey: Why he decided to ask his Louisiana Department of Education to alter student test scores | Crazy Crawfish’s Blog
Believe it or not, John White did not start off with the intent of trying to delude Louisiana into believing his education reforms worked simply by altering a few scores. At first I think White believed much of his own rhetoric. Namely: that teachers were lazy and holding kids back with their incompetence that State more
Jonathan Pelto Mulls Third Party Challenge to Governor Malloy in Connecticut | Diane Ravitch’s blog
Jonathan Pelto, ex-state legislator and prolific blogger, is deciding whether to mount a challenge to Governor Dannell Malloy, based in large part on Malloy’s embrace of the agenda of the privatization movement in Connecticut. Pelto here describes reactions from friends and foes. In my view, this would be an honorable challenge. Teachers and parents should more
No. 1 Shanghai may drop out of PISA | The Answer Sheet
BY VALERIE STRAUSS May 26 at 5:18 pm Shanghai (Carlos Barria/Reuters) First in 2009 and then in 2012, Shanghai’s 15-year-old students (or, rather, a supposed representative group)  were No. 1 in the world on the recent Program for International Student Assessment reading, math and science exams. But now, according to a popular Shanghai newspaper, Shanghai is considering dropping more

MAY 25

Hey, Buddy: Can You Spare $2.5 Billion? | Jersey Jazzman
Now that Chris Christie’s utterly fraudulent budgeting has been laid bare, we’re left with a problem: how will New Jersey make up for its two decade-old pension holiday? It’s nice to talk about bi-partisan commissions and proclaim that “everyone must make sacrifices,” but that’s really just a way for pundits to avoid giving a straight more
What school reformers can learn from poker | The Answer Sheet
School reformers have made student outcomes the big focus of their efforts, targeting teachers for failure to improve student achievement. But teachers say they ignore the inputs — the issues students bring into a classroom and the training/resources of  teachers. Here’s a look about the problem with outcome-based assessment, by Ben Spielberg,  a Teach For more
Governor Corbett Blames Union for Child’s Death | Diane Ravitch’s blog
When people write Pennsyvania Governor Tom Corbett to complain about the devastating effects of his budget cuts on the children of Philadelphia, he responds by blaming the teachers’ union for not accepting even deeper cuts. A few days ago, a first-grader died; there was no school nurse on duty. Her position had been cut from more
Teacher Education Leaders Speak Out: Kevin Kumashiro on Teacher Preparation, edTPA and Reform | Living in Dialogue
Teacher preparation has emerged as a target of those seeking to disrupt and transform the education system in our nation. In the past I have written about the National Council on Teacher Quality’s project to rate schools of education. I also carried a guest post focused on Pearson’s EdTPA, the controversial test now being required more
Has Arne Heard About NAEP? | Diane Ravitch’s blog
Someone sent me this clip from Tennessee, where Arne Duncan was trying to salvage the federally-funded online Common Core test called PARCC. “DUNCAN: TENNESSEE CAN STILL SALVAGE TESTS: At Brick Church College Prep in Nashville, Tenn., Education Secretary Arne Duncan showered the state with praise for becoming the fastest improving state in the country. But more
The Center for American Progress came down hard for the Common Core last week, providing yet another field test for the 100% baloney sandwich that is the Core’s urban poor talking point menu. In “The Common Core Is An Opportunity for Educational Equity,”, CAP asserts, “The Common Core State Standards hold promise for low-income students, more
Misreading the Never-Ending Drop-Out “Crisis” | the becoming radical
Prompted by Peter Greene’s Why Students Drop Out, further evidence that evidence doesn’t matter for the Obama administration of Secretary Duncan, I post below an entry for the Daily Kos from 4 February 2012. The political and public concern about high school graduation rates must be placed in two contexts: the historical reality of drop-out more
Laurel Sturt: Who Are the Biggest Bullies in Education? | Diane Ravitch’s blog
Laurel Sturt says that old-fashioned schoolyard bullying has evolved into Internet malice, protected by anonymity. She says bullying has become a national pastime for some political leaders. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has cultivated a reputation as a bully, jabbing his finger at lesser mortals. And then bullying is built into education policy–federal, state, and more

MAY 24

Edushyster: What Happens When the Obama Administration Treats Medicine Like Education? | Diane Ravitch’s blog
Edushyster asks the inevitable question: what is the one sure way to improve medicine? The Obama administration has found it: pay for performance! It hasn’t worked in education, but that’s no reason not to try it in medicine. What happened: totally unexpected side effects: “Here’s where our story takes a completely unexpected and yet astonishingly more
Jack Hassard: Protect Your Children, Opt Out of Testing | Diane Ravitch’s blog
Jack Hassard, emeritus professor of science education ay Georgia State University, describes what happened when a family in Marietta decided to opt their child out of state testing. Their school used scare tactics, threatening to have them arrested. They stood their ground, and the school backed down. Hassard contacted parents in Texas who told him more
NCTQ Gets Caught in a Data Collecting Lie | deutsch29
The National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) will be “grading” university-level, traditional teacher training programs again soon. Last year, 2013, they released this report on June 18. They “grade” in a superficial manner, relying upon program artifacts to form skewed judgments– judgments that they publish in US News and World Report and that are meant to damage the credibility more