Saturday, March 14, 2015

The Charter Wars Revisited: “Backfill,” Suspensions, Choice and Authentic Assessment at the Manhattan Institute | Ed In The Apple

The Charter Wars Revisited: “Backfill,” Suspensions, Choice and Authentic Assessment at the Manhattan Institute | Ed In The Apple:



The Charter Wars Revisited: “Backfill,” Suspensions, Choice and Authentic Assessment at the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Institute (MI) is a conservative think tank, publishes City Journal and supports research; Marcus Winters, a senior fellow and professor at University of Colorado has written a number of papers supporting charter schools. The latest MI event was entitled “Are NYC Charter Schools Doing All They Can to Serve the Neediest Students?”
Winters presented his latest paper, “Pushed Out? Low Performing Students and Charter Schools,” Winters argues,
• Low-performing students are more mobile, regardless of where they are enrolled: in NYC charters as well as traditional public schools, low-performing students are more likely to change schools than their higher-performing peers.
• Low-performing students are not more likely to exit NYC charters than traditional public schools.
• To the extent that higher attrition rates for low-performing NYC students offer cause for concern, they are no less a problem for the city’s traditional public schools than they are for its charters.

Winters agreed there was anecdotal evidence in regard to “push outs,” however due to the lack of transparency there is no hard data, although he did agree that the failure to fill vacated spots in charter schools, commonly called “backfill” was The Charter Wars Revisited: “Backfill,” Suspensions, Choice and Authentic Assessment at the Manhattan Institute | Ed In The Apple:

The Crony Capitalist War against U.S. Public Education | Crazy Normal - the Classroom Exposé

The Crony Capitalist War against U.S. Public Education | Crazy Normal - the Classroom Exposé:



The Crony Capitalist War against U.S. Public Education

14MAR
There are several forms of Capitalism in use throughout the world. Economics Help.org defines them and reports that Crony Capitalism is what’s used in the United States. The Age of Crony Capitalism says, “For most of US history, crony capitalism has been in a struggle with free-market capitalism for the heart and soul of the American economy.  For the past half century, crony capitalism has been gaining the upper hand.”
In addition, Dr. Gary G. Kohls of Global Resaerch.ca says, “The 12 years of unrestrained crony capitalism during the anti-democracy mis-leadership of Republican presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush tricked most of us into naively believing in their fraudulent ‘Trickle-down Economics’.”
Crony Capitalism is a term used to refer to the situation where business success is related to strategic influences with civil servants, politicians and those in authority. It could be used to refer to situations in early twentieth century U.S. where business leaders had to buy off politicians in return for favors (e.g. in popular media: Citizen Kane). Arguably a degree of crony capitalism occurs in countries like China, South Korea and Latin America. The power of the Mafia in Italy is also an example of crony capitalism.
The other forms of capitalism mentioned by Economics Help.org are: Turbo Capitalism (also known as unrestrained capitalism or free market capitalism), Responsible Capitalism, Popular Capitalism, Advanced Capitalism and State Capitalism. Visit the site to learn about the differences. I read them all and I think the two that are highlighted in this paragraph are the best choices for the most people.
Timeline for Crony Capitalist's War Against Public Education
In the corporate war against public education—known also as education reform leading to school choice, corporate charter schools and school vouchers—what reports do not support the Crony Capitalist reform movement?
The 1966 Coleman Report—Instead of proving that the quality of schools is the most important factor in a student’s academic success—as its sponsors had expected—the report written by the sociologist James S. Coleman of Johns Hopkins University found that a child’s family background and the school’s socioeconomic makeup are the best predictors. … A better summary of the findings, from Gordon M. Ambach’s perspective, is: Family and socioeconomic backgrounds are so important that it’s difficult for schools to overcome them.

In 1966, the Coleman Report highlighted the impact of poverty on student achievement. In this installment of the Mini-Moments with Big Thinkers series, policy faculty member Jeffrey Henig argues that it’s time to recognize that schools alone cannot ensure that all students succeed equally.
The 1983 report under the Reagan Administration known as A Nation at Risk was characterized by its The Crony Capitalist War against U.S. Public Education | Crazy Normal - the Classroom Exposé:

Join Chuy for the annual South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade - ‪#‎Chuy2015‬ ‪#‎imwithchuy‬

South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade - Jesus "Chuy" Garcia for Mayor of Chicago:





South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade

Sunday, March 15, 2015
12:00 PM

Western Avenue between 103rd and 115th
Chicago, IL
Join Chuy and thousands of parade-goers for the annual South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade on Sunday. 
More information from SouthSideIrishParade.org:
The annual South Side Irish Parade is a great time to spend with family and friends, both in bars and at house parties. We encourage everyone to celebrate responsibly and help keep the annual tradition a safe, family friendly event. Many of the Western Avenue bars support the parade and we hope you will support them in a responsible manner helping us ensure everyone has a safe, enjoyable parade. Sláinte!

DFER and Education Policies

DFER and Education Policies:



DFER and Education Policies








   In August 2008, many teachers in America and this one in particular were thrilled about Barack Obama’s nomination. Linda Darling-Hammond was a leading spokesperson articulating the Obama campaigns’ education positions. Darling-Hammond had pushed for professional education standards for teachers and had presented data showing the importance of teacher training. Yet, by November Alexander Russo of the Huffington Post was reporting “The possibility of Darling-Hammond being named Secretary has emerged as an especially worrisome possibility among a small but vocal group of younger, reform-minded advocates who supported Obama because he seemed reform-minded on education issues like charter schools, performance pay, and accountability. These reformists seem to perceive Darling-Hammond as a touchy-feely anti-accountability figure who will destroy any chances that Obama will follow through on any of these initiatives.” In December, Obama tapped Chicago’s Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education. Because Duncan had no real education experience it was considered highly likely that Darling-Hammond would be the Deputy Secretary of Education. On February 19, 2009 the New Republic reported, “Darling-Hammond was a key education adviser during the election and chaired Obama's transition education policy team. She has been berated heavily by the education reform community, which views her as favoring the status quo in Democratic education policy for her criticisms of alternative teacher certification programs like Teach for America and her ties with teachers' unions.” They reported that she was going home to California to work on other priorities and would not be a part of the new administration.

    So, what happened and who were those “small but vocal younger, reform minded advocates that supported Obama” but hated Darling-Hammond? In August 2008 a pre-convention Democrats for Education Reform seminar, billed as "Ed Challenge for Change" previewed a coming attack from within the Democratic Party on teachers and especially their unions. David Goldstein of the American Prospect reported:
     “It was sponsored by a coalition of foundations, nonprofits, and businesses supporting the charter-school movement, including Ed in '08, the advocacy group founded by Bill Gates and real-estate mogul Eli Broad. The evening provided a truly unusual spectacle at a convention: A megawatt group of Democrats, including Mayor Cory Booker of Newark, Mayor Adrian Fenty of Washington, D.C., and former Gov. Ray Romer of Colorado, bashed teachers' unions for an hour. Amid the approving audience were Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina, an icon of the civil-rights movement; Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, (in)famous as a high-profile African American Hillary Clinton endorser; and Mayor David Cicilline of Providence, the reformer of that once-Mob-ridden New England city. Cicilline took avid notes.” It was from this crowd that Darling-Hammond was receiving her harshest criticism and where the non-traditional (meaning no education background) leader of the Chicago school system, Arne Duncan, was championed as the next Secretary of Education. The loudest voices were those of a new organization calling themselves Democrats for Education reform (DFER), led by young extremely wealthy hedge fund operators from New York City.
        In the May 31, 2007 issue of New York Sun there was a report about one of the first victories of DFER: “A money manager recently sent an e-mail to some partners, congratulating them on an investment of $1 million that yielded an estimated $400 million. The reasoning was that $1 million spent on trying to lift a cap on the number of charter schools in New York State yielded a change in the law that will bring $400 million a year in funding to new charter schools. The money managers who were among the main investors in this law — three Harvard MBAs and a Wharton graduate named Whitney Tilson, Ravenel Boykin Curry IV, Charles Ledley, and John Petry — are moving education-oriented volunteerism beyond championing a single school.
         “They want to shift the political debate by getting the Democratic Party to back innovations such as merit pay for teachers, a longer school day, and charter schools. …  The group — actually two separate political action committees — has raised money for senators Obama, Clinton, and Lieberman; Governor Spitzer; Rep. George Miller; state senators Malcolm Smith and Antoine Thompson; assemblymen Sam Hoyt, Hakeem Jeffries, and Jonathan Bing, and City Council Member Vito Lopez. They count the charter cap lift, signed by Mr. Spitzer in April, as their first major victory.”
        The two political action committees the Sun mentioned are Education Reform Now, a 501c3, and Education Reform Now Advocacy, a 501c4. To lead these committees the hedge fund operators chose Joel Klein, the form chancellor of the New York City schools. It seems likely that Mr. Klein was influential in these young businessmen from elite schools developing the view of education reform they have adopted. Until April of this year, Klein has been the director of Education Reform now. In April he joined his former protégé, Michele Rhee at her advocacy group Students First which is also supported by DFER, the Broad Foundation and the Gates Foundation. When I looked on the DFER web site the first image that popped up was that of a favorite basketball player of mine and the current mayor of Sacramento, California, Kevin Johnson. He also happens to be Michelle Rhee’s husband.
       On the DFER’s official web presence they take at least partial credit for the selection of Arne Duncan instead of Linda Darling-Hammond.
       There is a glaring lack of experience or knowledge about education amongst the leaders of DFER. Michael Hirsch writing for the United Federation of Teachers explains, “What do these folks know about education? With the exception of Williams, who’s the hired help: nothing! Understand that DFER’s endgame has little to do with learning and everything to do with marginalizing public-sector unionized workers and bringing down the cost of taxes for social programs. It’s about creating new business and investment opportunities in areas that are still publicly run and serving as a pre-emptive strike against any hope for private-sector union renewal. Where better to start than with attacking teacher unions, one of the few labor strongholds in this country?” His point is at least in part validated by a cursory look at the present Board of Directors of DFER and the Board of Advisors:
Board of Directors:
Kevin P. Chavous (chair)
 - Former Washington, DC, City Council member and chair of the Education Committee; Board Chair of Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO).
Boykin Curry - Eagle Capital; Co-Founder of Public Prep. Public Prep launched in 2008.
Tony Davis - Co-founder and President of Anchorage Capital Group, LLC; Board Trusteer for DFER and Education Policies:

Smarter Balanced Offers Tips for Monitoring Students on Social Media | deutsch29

Smarter Balanced Offers Tips for Monitoring Students on Social Media | deutsch29:



Smarter Balanced Offers Tips for Monitoring Students on Social Media



The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) offers the following tips to SBAC schools for monitoring students on social media. The excerpt below is from a single-page document entitled, “Guidance for Social Media Monitoring During the Field Test.”
The SBAC-suggested keys to successful social media “test security trolling”?
1) Set up a school social media site, and encourage students to join.
2) Search social media sites by keyword.
Click on the document below to read for yourself. 
SBAC Social Media


 There is more to this letter than is shown in the image above. The full document can be read here.

Also, here is the section of the letter missing from above. Click on image to enlarge:
SBAC social media 2
The sneakiest component of this “monitoring” is the potential use of a school social media site to track students without their knowing.
School social media sites should include disclaimers that those “following” or “joining” the site realize that their personal social media accounts are open for school Smarter Balanced Offers Tips for Monitoring Students on Social Media | deutsch29:

The War Report on Public Education with Dr James Avington Miller Jr

Join Host Dr. James Avington Miller Jr. on the War Report radio show on Sunday as he exposes Pearson as the Orwellian Big Brother in American public education ---- be afraid, be very afraid!


Bob Braun's Ledger
Bob Braun


The show will feature Bob Braun of Bob Braun's Ledger who published the NJ Spy Gate story on Friday and had his website attacked and disabled.

The show will also honor Lucianna M. Sanson and her excellent work for public education here on The War Report on Public Education

Click on the website below to listen live and join the discussion:

http://bbsradio.com/thewarreport

A direct listen-in line only
Station 1 - 716-748-0150

To call-in and interact live
Station 1 - 888-627-6008


The War Report on Public Education with Dr James Avington Miller Jr

Governor Snyder and Direct Control | educarenow

Governor Snyder and Direct Control | educarenow:



Governor Snyder and Direct Control






 Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder signed an executive order that moved the state’s school reform office from the Department of Education to the Department of Technology, Management and Budget.

That may be one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever written.
But, as a helpful attempt to reinforce its truthfulness, I am going to write it again.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed an executive order that moved the state’s school reform office from the Department of Education to the Department of Technology, Management and Budget.
If you still don’t believe, check this.
There are many things to consider regarding Snyder’s decision. For example, why is a category with the title “school” not placed within a department that includes the label “education”? But that seems silly.  (For another solid example that isn’t silly, see this.) I want to explore here the  values that such a move represents. And since Governor Snyder has said nothing that I can find, I am going to use an article written by the Detroit News  as the text that will provide us some insight into those values.
After a questionable beginning in which the article, Snyder Right to Move Reform Office,” refers to Snyder’s frustration over “the lack of progress in Detroit schools” without explaining that this “lack of progress” has occurred under a series of Snyder appointed Emergency Managers, the actual situation is explained fairly dispassionately.
“The reform office has oversight of the 5 percent of schools that are the lowest-performing in the state. And it works along with the independently run Education Achievement Authority, the reform district that operates 15 of the worst schools in Detroit.”
These are indisputable factual observations.  What it doesn’t also say is that the EAA was created with immense controversy and continues as a colossal failure, a judgement that is reaching consensus in Michigan.  It also doesn’t say that the Governor Snyder and Direct Control | educarenow:

This is what we are fighting for – exceptional children like Super Ewan – not common children. | Poetic Justice

This is what we are fighting for – exceptional children like Super Ewan – not common children. | Poetic Justice:


Click Here to go to Poetic Justice Website


This is what we are fighting for – exceptional children like Super Ewan – not common children.



Super Ewan has made it to the main stream TV news! Last night he was onErin Burnett’s Out Front show on CNN. He is totally amazing.
150313202434-eb-super-ewan-comes-to-detroits-rescue-large-169



Super Ewan represents all our children. They are wonderful – unique – powerful – and full of all the good things that can turn this world around. We adults must protect them and empower them and allow them to speak out in truth and help them make the world a better place.
We salute you Super Ewan and we support you as you help the people in Detroit. You inspire us grownups to do the right thing because … it is the right thing to do. Thank you.

Pearson Caught Spying On Students. Big Brother Is Here

Pearson Caught Spying On Students. Big Brother Is Here:



Pearson Caught Spying On Students. Big Brother Is Here



Last night, Bob Braun, an investigative reporter in New Jersey, received a copy of the following email:
He posted the following on his blog, Bob Braun's Ledger:
MARCH 13, 2015
BREAKING: Pearson, NJ, spying on social media of students taking PARCC tests
 ” Pearson, the multinational testing and publishing company, is spying on the social media posts of students–including those from New Jersey–while the children are taking their PARCC, statewide tests, this site has learned exclusively. The state education department is cooperating with this spying and has asked at least one school district to discipline students who may have said something inappropriate about the tests.
 This website discovered the unauthorized and hidden spying thanks to educators who informed it of the practice–a practice happening throughout the state and apparently throughout the country. The spying–or “monitoring,” to use Pearson’s word–was confirmed at one school district–the Watchung Hills Regional High School district in Warren by its superintendent, Elizabeth Jewett.
Jewett sent out an e-mail–posted here– to her colleagues expressing concern about the unauthorized spying on students. She said parents are upset and added that she thought Pearson’s behavior would contribute to the growing “opt out” movement.
In her email, Jewett said the district’s testing coordinator received a late night call from the state education department saying that Pearson had “initiated a Priority 1 Alert for an item breach within our school.”
The unnamed state education department employee contended a student took a picture of a test item and tweeted it. But it turned out the student had posted–at 3:18 pm, after testing was over–a tweet about one of the items with no picture. Jewett does not say the student revealed a question. Jewett continues:
“The student deleted the tweet and we spoke with the parent–who was obviously highly concerned as to her child’s tweets being monitored by the DOE (state education department).
“The DOE informed us that Pearson is monitoring all social media during the PARCC testing.”  (Diarist's emphasis)
When this posted, Braun's blog was shut down with a DDoS attack.
More below the Chee-to:
His Facebook page is still up, and I have just heard that his blog is back up, but running extremely slowly. In fact, I tried to link to the original story, but my computer was moving so slowly the page would not load.
Here are Braun's latest posts on Facebook:
Bob Braun's Ledger
9 hrs · Edited ·
Bob Braun's Ledger is back up but is still very slow. It's probably easier to get to it through something other than Facebook. Initially, I thought--vainly-- the site was acting up because of the number of people reading it. Then I got an email from my webhost 
Pearson Caught Spying On Students. Big Brother Is Here:

Big Pearson and New Jersey's State Department of Education are Cooperating in new Spy Gate

Big Pearson and New Jersey's State Department of Education are Cooperating in new Spy Gate:



The War Report on Public Education with Dr James Avington Miller Jr





 Join Host Dr. James Avington Miller Jr. on the War Report radio show on Sunday as he exposes Pearson as the Orwellian Big Brother in American public education ---- be afraid, be very afraid!



Bob Braun's Ledger
Bob Braun 

The show will feature Bob Braun of Bob Braun's Ledger who published the NJ Spy Gate story on Friday and had his website attacked and disabled.

The show will also honor Lucianna M. Sanson and her excellent work for public education here on The War Report on Public Education

Click on the website below to listen live and join the discussion:

http://bbsradio.com/thewarreport

A direct listen-in line only
Station 1 - 716-748-0150

To call-in and interact live
Station 1 - 888-627-6008



Pearson is Watching


The War Report on Public Education with Dr James Avington Miller Jr

CURMUDGUCATION: Pearson Is Big Brother

CURMUDGUCATION: Pearson Is Big Brother:



Pearson Is Big Brother







 You've already heard the story by now-- Pearson has been found monitoring students on social media in New Jersey, catching them tweeting about the PARCC test, and contacting the state Department of Education so that the DOE can contact the local school district to get the students in trouble.


You can read the story here at the blog of NJ journalist Bob Braun. Well, unless the site is down again. Since posting the story, Braun's site has gone down twice that I know of. Initially it looked like Braun had simply broken the internet, as readers flocked to the report. Late last night Braun took to facebook to report that the site was under attack and that he had taken it down to stop the attack. As I write this (6:17 AM Saturday) the site and the story are up, though loading slowly.

The story was broken by Superintendent Elizabeth Jewett of Watchung Hills Regional High School district in an email to her colleagues.  But in contacting Jewett he has learned that she confirmed three instances in which Pearson contacted the NJDOE to turn over miscreant students for the state to track down and punish. [Update: Jewett here authenticates the email that Braun ran.] 

Meanwhile, many alert eyes turned up this: Pearson's Tracx, a program that may or may not allow the kind of monitoring we're talking about here.

Several thoughts occur. First, under exactly whose policy are these students to be punished. Does the PARCC involve them taking the same kind of high security secrecy pledge that teachers are required to take, and would such a pledge signed by a minor, anyway?

How does this fit with the ample case law already establishing that, for instance, students can go on line and create websites or fake facebook accounts mocking school administrators? They can mock their schools, but they have to leave important corporations alone?

I'm also wondering, again, how any test that requires this much tight security could not suck. Seriously.

How much of the massive chunk of money paid by NJ went to the line item "keep an eye on students 
CURMUDGUCATION: Pearson Is Big Brother:

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION
EduBloggers

Latest News and Comment from Education