Monday, April 14, 2014

"It’s all over but the shouting: Obamacare is working."

"It’s all over but the shouting: Obamacare is working.":



GOP
So say Eugene Robinson.
That's the first line of Obamacare’s victory lap, his column for Tuesday's Washington Post.
As he says in the paragraph that immediately follows,
All the naysaying in the world can’t drown out mounting evidence that the Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature domestic achievement, is a real success. Republican candidates running this fall on an anti-Obamacare platform will have to divert voters’ attention from the facts, which tell an increasingly positive story.
He reminds us of a number of facts in evidence
- 12 million people previously lacking coverage getting it this year
- 14 million more will be added by 2017
- without ACA 54 million Americans would have lacked health care, and ACA halves that.
There  is more to this column, and some thoughts of my own, beneath the cheese doodle.
Robinson reminds us that we are somewhat unique in not having moved to a single payer system, but instead having remained within the structure of the pre-existing system of private insurers.
But he frames it fairly clearly:
Many Republican critics of Obamacare know, but refuse to acknowledge, that the reforms are here to stay. Does the GOP propose to let insurance companies deny coverage because of preexisting conditions, as they could before the ACA? Does the party want to reimpose lifetime caps on the amount an insurer will pay? Tell young adults they can no "It’s all over but the shouting: Obamacare is working.":

The Wallstreet Journal also Captures the ASA’s Recent Position Statement on VAMs |

The Wallstreet Journal also Captures the ASA’s Recent Position Statement on VAMs |:







The Wallstreet Journal also Captures the ASA’s Recent Position Statement on VAMs



 Yesterday I released the second of two posts about the recent release of the American Statistical Association’s Position Statement about using VAMs for educational assessment and accountability. Below is a third post, as again warranted, given the considerable significance of this statement.

This one comes from The Washington Post – The Answer Sheet by Valerie Strauss and is pasted here, almost in full.
Strauss writes: “You can be certain that members of the American Statistical Association, the largest organization in the United States representing statisticians and related professionals, know a thing or two about data and measurement. That makes the statement that the association just issued very important for school reform.
The ASA just slammed the high-stakes “value-added method” (VAM) of evaluating teachers that has been increasingly embraced in states as part of school-reform efforts. VAM purports to be able to take student standardized test scores and measure the “value” a teacher adds to student learning through complicated formulas that can supposedly factor out all of the other influences and emerge with a valid assessment of how effective a particular teacher has been.
These formulas can’t actually do this with sufficient reliability and validity, but school reformers have pushed this approach and now most states use VAM as part of teacher evaluations. Because math and English test scores are available, reformers have devised bizarre implementation methods in which teachers are assessed on the test scores of The Wallstreet Journal also Captures the ASA’s Recent Position Statement on VAMs |:

At an East San Jose high school, students react to new Common Core test | EdSource Today

At an East San Jose high school, students react to new Common Core test | EdSource Today:



The students in John Daniels’ U.S. history class at James Lick High School in East San Jose are a smidgen of the tens of thousands of juniors who are taking the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium field test this spring. And their views of the new test on the Common Core State Standards are but a snapshot of many that the creators of the test and the state Department of Education will receive over the next two months.
But what they said last week, representative or not, would probably please the creators of the new assessment. As Glenn VanderZee, James Lick’s principal, observed, most of them “got it.”
Not necessarily the answers. Neither James Lick administrators nor the students will know how they did; as with all students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 in California and elsewhere, their tests won’t get scored. The purpose of the field test is to inform Smarter Balanced, a consortium of states that includes California, about the validity of the 20,000 questions that will be vetted and aspects of the computer-based technology that need tweaking.
In a classroom discussion and follow-up interviews, the James Lick students said they understood the nature of the new assessment – how it’s different from the California Standards Tests that they grew up taking – and why the new tests might be an improvement.
Desiree Jones Credit: John Fensterwald
Desiree Jones Credit: John Fensterwald
“With this test, you had to make your point and explain your answer,” said Desiree Jones. “In the future, you may have to do the same thing – back up your claim –where you work. You can’t just say, ‘That’s good.’ You’ll need to say what you think and why.”

Citing evidence, defending a position

Desiree was referring to the performance assessment part of the test. It represents the biggest change from the state tests. Students were given four articles about a At an East San Jose high school, students react to new Common Core test | EdSource Today:

Jindal to Dump PARCC? | deutsch29

Jindal to Dump PARCC? | deutsch29:



Jindal to Dump PARCC?

April 14, 2014


An April 14, 2014, nola.com article has Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal publicly saying he is “willing” to leave the Partnership for Assessment of College and Careers (PARCC)– and even the Common Core State Standards (CCSS):
Gov. Bobby Jindal has said he is willing to withdraw Louisiana from a consortium of states developing the assessment associated with the Common Core academic standards if the Louisiana Legislature doesn’t choose to do so on its own.
Eight legislators sent a letter to Jindal Monday afternoon asking him to nix a years-old agreement that has Louisiana residents and policy makers helping craft the  Partnership of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test. The governor, who once supported PARCC, said he was in favor of the state’s withdrawal from the assessment group and indicated that he hopes the anti-Common Core efforts currently brewing in some corners of the Legislature succeed.
“We share the concerns of these [anti-Common Core] legislators and also of parents across Louisiana. We’re hopeful that legislation will move through the process this session that will address the concerns of parents or delay implementation until these concerns can be addressed. We think this course of action outlined in the legislators’ letter remains a very viable option if the Legislature does not act,” 

4-14-14 Schools Matter

Schools Matter: Why the Growing Opt Out Movement Puts Fear into the Antiquated Losers of Corporate Education Reform:









Why the Growing Opt Out Movement Puts Fear into the Antiquated Losers of Corporate Education Reform

I was chatting today with someone I had not seen in a while, and told them about my work in support of United Opt Out and how it could 6 percent of parents keeping their children home on test days could make the tests unusable for the sorting and punishing they are intended. Brilliant, she said. Brilliant, indeed.  That is why the creaky dean of CorpEd, Chester Finn, has offered his own "love


4-13-14 Schools Matter
Schools Matter: Assessing the Model: A KIPP Teacher Speaks of Her Nervous Breakdown and Post-KIPP Recovery, Part 3"I would say that working at KIPP was the most horrible experience of my life. I would tell people that, I would tell a friend especially that the message is good with KIPP, that you want to send all kids to and through college. But it is at such great personal sacrifice that it’s


Geaux Teacher!: Over schooled but Undereducated

Geaux Teacher!: Over schooled but Undereducated:





Over schooled but Undereducated

A very good article by Luba Vangelova.  Children have a greater capacity for imagination than adults because their minds haven't been dulled by rote "education."  What if we capitalized on those imaginations?

http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/04/to-advance-education-we-must-first-reimagine-society/


RSA Animate
RSA Animate/Ken Robinson
Why haven’t education reform efforts amounted to much? Because they start with the wrong problem, says John Abbott, director of the 21st Century Learning Initiative.
Because disaffection with the education system reflects a much deeper societal malaise, it’s imperative that we first figure out what kind of world we really want: a world populated by responsible adults who thrive on interdependence and community, or a world of “customers” who feel dependent on products, services, and authority figures, and don’t take full responsibility for their actions? The answer, he says, will point to the changes needed in all three pillars of education — schools, families, and communities.
This is one of Abbott’s primary takeaways from a career spanning more than two decades of teaching in England, followed by three decades at the helm of an international nonprofit (begun in the U.S. but now headquartered in England), whose mission is to promote fresh thinking based on the existing body of research about how children learn. Its findings have been synthesized into policy briefings, reports, and a book, “Overschooled but Undereducated: How the crisis in education is jeopardizing our adolescents.” It has also just published a distillation of its work, called “Battling for the Soul of Education.”
As Abbott sees it, the need for reflection has never been greater. Spurred by technological advances, “civilization is on the cusp of a metamorphosis,” he says, that will lead either to societal collapse and chaos, or to a resurgence of liberty, community, and 

Legislators Ask Jindal to Opt Out of PARCC
Louisiana legislators get serious about getting out of PARCC testing.  Will Governor Jindal take a stand that aligns with his own disdain for one-size/fits-all standards and undue (illegal) intrusion and coercion by Arne Duncan? "SIGN US OUT"LEGISLATORS CALL ON JINDAL TO OPT-OUT OF PARCC TESTING.Memorandum of Understanding Allows Opt-Out, No Penalty or Enforcement.From Rep Brett Geymann.

Nite Cap 4-14-14 #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT #P2



James Baldwin said it best: 

"For these are all our children, and we will profit by or pay for whatever they become."


A BIG EDUCATION APE NITE CAP




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James Baldwin said it best: "For these are all our children, and we will profit by or pay for whatever they become."A BIG EDUCATION APE NITE CAPvox.com: PARCC Tests Are “Working”! | deutsch29vox.com: PARCC Tests Are “Working”! | deutsch29: vox.com: PARCC Tests Are “Working”!April 13, 2014On April 11, 2014, vox.com, a supposedly “data-driven news site started this month (April 2014) by Ez



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