Tuesday, September 2, 2014

LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH 9-2-14 Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

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

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Rhode Island: Gist and Education Leaders Will Review Over-Testing
This is a surprising story. State Commissioner Deborah Gist and other state leaders will review whether there is too much testing in the schools of Rhode Island. This is a battle that the Providence Student Union has been waging for the past two years. They held rallies and staged political events to call attention to the state’s testing program. They criticized high stakes testing, standardized t

Duncan Threatens to Withdraw Florida’s NCLB Waiver over ELLs
The Tampa Bay Times published an editorial saying that the U.S. Department was “out of line” for threatening to yank Florida’s NCLB waiver. Duncan took away Washington State’s waiver because the legislature refused to tie teacher evaluations to student test score. So now, schools across the state must send home letters saying that their child attends a “failing” school because it had not achieved

Some DAM Poet: Comparing “Reform” to “The Wizard of Oz”
In response to a post by Krazy TA, who portrayed Arne Duncan as the Scarecrow in “The Wizard of Oz,” this post comes from “Some DAM Poet, Devalue Added Model”:   So, Duncan is the Scare Crow?   I’ll buy that (though he’s certainly no Ray Bolger)   That leaves quite a few roles to cast:   Here are my suggestions:   The Wizard of Ads (and Fads): Bill Gates   Cowardly Lion: Obama   Tin Man: David Col

Michigan Awakes from Long Slumber: Majority in Poll Want Charter Moratorium
Possibly in response to the Detroit Free Press’s expose of charter schools’ lack of transparency and accountability, a majority in most recent poll (73%) want a moratorium on new charter schools until the Legislature and the State Department of Education has reviewed charter legislation.   Having learned from the 8-day series of articles that charters get $1 billion without oversight, the public m

Breaking News: Lee County School Board Reverses Vote, Backs Down
Last week, the Lee County, Florida, school board voted 3-2 to opt out of state testing. Over the past few days, one member of the three-vote majority declared that she wanted to change her vote. A meeting was called for 8:30 a.m. This morning, a time that was sure to be inconvenient for parents and teachers. A message to me from Bob Schaeffer of Fairtest, who lives in Lee County: “As expected, g

Pennsylvania: When Tests Are Pointless
The purpose of testing is for students and teachers to learn about students’ strengths and weaknesses. Teachers can look at student performance and learn what they taught well and what they didn’t teach well. When states, in collaboration with testing companies, keep tests confidential, reeves long nothing to students and teachers but test scores, they vitiate the value of the test. It’s akin to

Massachusetts: An Interview with Barbara Madeloni about the Failure of Testing
Zak Jason wrote a fascinating interview in “Boston” magazine with Barbara Madeloni, the recently elected president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the largest union in the state with 110,000 members. I first learned of Madeloni when she was preparing teachers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and she refused to give the Pearson test to evaluate new teachers. Michael Winerip

Why Does the U.S. Test More Often and Earlier than Any High-Performing Nation?
Education policymakers in the U.S. seem to think that more tests will produce higher achievement, but there is no evidence for this assumption. As this article from the Center on International Education Benchmarking shows, the U.S. tests more frequently than any of the world’s high-performing nations. Jackie Kraemer writes: “Unlike the top-performing countries on the 2012 PISA, the United States
New Jersey Bloggers: An Open Letter to Tom Moran, Chief Editorial Writer @Star-Ledger
Three New Jersey bloggers–Jersey Jazzman, Marie Corfield, and Ani McHugh–here jointly respond to Tom Moran, chief editorial writer for the Star-Ledger and chief cheerleader for Newark’s state-appointed superintendent Cami Anderson. Their open letter was jointly posted on their blogs at 7 a.m. This morning. Although Moran has ignored them and any other critics of the Christie-Anderson plan to elimi
Jeff Bryant: Time to Regulate Charter Schools
Jeff Bryant of the Education Opportunity Network notes that the charter industry has launched an advertising campaign to sell the charter idea to the public. But, writes Bryant, there have been so many revelations of corruption, self-dealing, and rogiterring by charter schools in recent months that the public should be wary of their self-promotion. What’s needed now, he says, is state regulation o
Florida: the Test-Crazy State
Can you believe this? “Out of the 180-day academic year, Miami-Dade County schools will administer standardized tests on every day but eight.” “Though not every student will take every test, the number and consequences of testing are facing a growing backlash from parents, teachers and even some district officials….. The Miami Dade School Board on Wednesday will approve its assessment schedule fo
Bob Braun: Pray for the Children of Newark
This is a column that will raise the rafters, curl your hair, or make you shake with rage. It should. Bob Braun, who started his own blog after writing for New Jersey’s largest newspaper, “The Star-Ledger,” for 50 years, is furious. This week, when schools start in New Jersey, the children of Newark will get on buses and be distributed to schools across the district. This is Cami Anderson’s “One
LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH 9-1-14 Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all
Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all: Labor Day, 2014I recently saw photographs of John F. Kennedy giving a Labor Day speech in New York City during his Presidential campaign in 1960. He spoke in the center of the Garment District, on the west side of Manhattan. He spoke to tens of thousands of garment workers. Today, the Garment District has been replaced by luxury hi