On the heels of a newly passed state budget that again leaves our K-12 public schools behind without ample and consistent funding, I recently headed back to where the school privatization push all began -- the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC.
ALEC and its members, including the American Federation for Children (AFC), have become more powerful than our citizens' voices at the State Capitol. Despite massive public urging from Wisconsin school superintendents, principals, teachers, parents and students for consistent and adequate K-12 public education funding, Republicans legislators chose to dump more money into an unaccountable private voucher school system.
Since Republicans took over our state Capitol in 2011, they have cut $1.2 billion from public K-12 education. Under this latest budget, 55 percent of school districts will get less general student aid than they did last budget cycle and Wisconsin is spending $1,014 less per public school student than it did in 2008.
Yet for the private school special interests, this budget was like Christmas morning, with presents that blew the student enrollment caps off the statewide private school voucher program, diverted an additional $600-800 million from public schools over the next decade and increased per-pupil spending in the statewide private voucher system more than what even Governor Walker had proposed. The cherry on top was the last-minute, late-night passage of the special needs voucher program, which funds private schools for special needs students without requiring specialized instruction, teacher training or current legal protections.
Schools Matter: This week's Questions and Answers on Neoliberal Corporate Education Reform: This week's Questions and Answers on Neoliberal Corporate Education Reform“Our rulers don’t just want exclusive control over the governance and finances of our schools, they want to control both what is taught and by whom.” — Robert D. SkeelsOn the average week I answer a few inquiries regarding various edu
Profitship! Cashing In On Public SchoolsThis animated feature on school privatization stars little Timmy, a kindergartner who likes his public school. Timmy gets a confusing lesson in corporate education reform, starting with the rightwing mantra "Public Schools have failed." (The Bradley Foundation, a top rightwing think tank, has devoted more than $30 million to label public education
The Real Reason the SBAC Math Test Fails 67 Percent of All Students: The Real Reason the SBAC Math Test Fails 67 Percent of All StudentsIn this article, we will review the meaning of four important scientific terms and explain why understanding these terms is essential to understanding why the SBAC math test fails 67% of all students who take this test. The four terms we will look at are Reliabili
CURMUDGUCATION: Trib Writer Tries To Spank Dyett Protest: Trib Writer Tries To Spank Dyett ProtestEric Zorn decided to just wade on into the Dyett High Hunger Strike yesterday with a piece that is as stunning as it is ill-informed. But it underlines the problem of effectively organizing for a cause.Zorn apparently didn't do any more reading on the hunger strike except to learn that there is one, a
Gentrification’s Ground Zero | Jacobin: Gentrification’s Ground ZeroIn the ten years since Katrina, New Orleans has been remade into a neoliberal playground for young entrepreneurs.his week marks a decade since Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. In those ten years New Orleans has, with unprecedented swiftness, become the most neoliberal city in the United States.This development is not enti
New CA Community College Accreditor Needed ... NOW! | Rosemont, CA Patch: New CA Community College Accreditor Needed ... NOW!Task force stated Friday that confidence is lost with current agency, and our state's 113 junior colleges deserve better.A task force comprised of education experts released a report Friday concluding that the accreditor tasked with overseeing California’s 113 community coll
The Irrationality of the Market “Reform” of Education - Living in Dialogue: The Irrationality of the Market “Reform” of Education By Paul Horton.A couple of years ago I had the privilege of listening to the late Nobel Economics laureate Gary Becker speak at my school. Professor Becker won the Nobel Prize for his book Human Capital that argued that the marketplace provides consumers with “rational
Teacher Concerns about Age Discrimination and the Teacher Shortage: Teacher Concerns about Age Discrimination and the Teacher ShortageMany teachers raised concerns about age discrimination relating to the current teacher shortage after a recent post. I gathered what I had learned and I have added additional information. I also provide links at the bottom to other important articles about this topi
What the pro-Jeb Bush, pro-Common Core Washington Post Editorial Board Would Not Print | deutsch29: What the pro-Jeb Bush, pro-Common Core Washington Post Editorial Board Would Not PrintOn August 17, 2015, the editorial board of the Washington Post published an opinion piece in which it asserts that Common Core and high-stakes testing are just fine and how pro-Common Core, Republican presidential
CURMUDGUCATION: Can Tech Fix Teacher Shortage?: Can Tech Fix Teacher Shortage?If you don't have a lot of time to read right now, I'll cut to the chase.No.The topic is being heavily discussed because, for many folks, "shortage" is spelled o-p-p-o-r-t-u-n-i-t-y. As in, golden opportunity to push TFA, alternative certification, and technology in (or instead of) the classroom. As the teacher
Schools that respected parents’ right to opt their children out of unfair Common Core SBAC tests - Wait What?: Schools that respected parents’ right to opt their children out of unfair Common Core SBAC testsAfter withholding Connecticut’s Common Core SBAC results for weeks, the Connecticut State Department of Education announced that approximately 267,000 Connecticut public school students took th
Perdido Street School: The Next Time You Hear Some Edubabble Starting With The Words "Research Shows...": The Next Time You Hear Some Edubabble Starting With The Words "Research Shows..."..You can cut the person off by asking if they're sure the "research" they're citing isn't horseshit:A painstaking yearslong effort to reproduce 100 studies published in three leading
Seattle: Students Lead Protests To Change School & Transit Policies | PopularResistance.Org: Seattle: Students Lead Protests To Change School & Transit PoliciesIn 2001, my parents, my siblings and I emigrated from Uganda for a better life. We traveled across seas, leaving everything tangible behind, in hopes of an idealized life abroad. We battled internal pains, suffered tremendous loss,
Neither TFA nor edTPA. Becoming a teacher. | Fred Klonsky: Neither TFA nor edTPA. Becoming a teacher.Thanks to Debbie Meier for posting this article, Great Teachers are Not Built Overnight by Vanessa Rodriguez.Teaching is not a skill that you either have or don’t have. It is not a skill that is stagnant, nor is it a skill that grows and approaches some maximum upper limit that everyone will reach
Why hunger strikers are risking their health to save a Chicago public high school - The Washington Post: Why hunger strikers are risking their health to save a Chicago public high schoolA dozen people are nearing the end of their second week of a hunger strike aimed not only at keeping alive Walter H. Dyett High School High School in Bronzeville on the South Side of Chicago, but also at underscori
Parents, here's 9 ways you drive teachers nuts - TODAY.com: 9 annoying things parents do that drive teachers crazyEvery parent wants to make a good impression on their children's teachers, but ask any teacher what the hardest part of their job is, and there's a good chance they will say: parents. (OK, they might also say bureaucracy or mandatory testing but we bet annoying parents are right up the
Hilarious Letter From PTA Speaks the Truth: Hilarious Letter From PTA Speaks the TruthThis form, from a Texas middle school, has plenty of parents wishing their schools would adopt the same approach. (Photo: Facebook/Dee Wise Heinz)A PTA fundraiser handout from one Texas school has been making the rounds online for its newfound approach to the classic school bake sales, wrapping-paper drives, and
California Attorney General Kamala Harris on the Economic Impact of Growing Truancy in Schools - The Atlantic: The Economic Cost of TruancyIt doesn’t matter how good a school is if students don’t show up to class.In 2012, about 7.5 million students were chronically absent from schools nationwide. According to a report from the Center for American Progress, truancy, defined as unexcused absence fro
As Common Core Results Trickle in, Initial Goals Unfulfilled - ABC News: As Common Core Results Trickle in, Initial Goals UnfulfilledResults for some of the states that participated in Common Core-aligned testing for the first time this spring are out, with overall scores higher than expected though still below what many parents may be accustomed to seeing.Full or preliminary scores have been rele
POLICY BRIEF: Should Louisiana and the Recovery School District receive accolades for being last and nearly last? – The Network For Public Education: POLICY BRIEF: Should Louisiana and the Recovery School District receive accolades for being last and nearly last?INTRODUCTIONIn 2003, the Louisiana legislature created the Recovery School District (RSD). With this law, schools that did not meet “mini
Teachers Offer to Work for Free to Save Their School | gadflyonthewallblog: Teachers Offer to Work for Free to Save Their SchoolLawmakers have failed Chester Upland School District.And now it’s up to teachers and professional staff to save the day.For two decades, the Pennsylvania legislature hasn’t fulfilled its duty to equitably fund the public school district. Neither has the federal government
Flood of Lies: Education reform crescendo at #Katrina10 | Cloaking Inequity: Flood of Lies: Education reform crescendo at #Katrina10Has the flood of lies about education reform has reached a crescendo 10 years post Katrina? The news media (and President Obama) has mostly spun a narrative of “improvement” and “real progress” post Katrina. However, there are several notable stories out this week tha
George W. Bush, Visiting New Orleans, Praises School Progress Since Katrina - The New York Times: George W. Bush, Visiting New Orleans, Praises School Progress Since KatrinaNEW ORLEANS — Returning here Friday 10 years after this city was inundated, former President George W. Bush painted a rosy picture of the recovery since Hurricane Katrina, saying that the devastation had “sparked a decade of re
What to believe? Greedy teachers, a successful budget director, a warped news account, threat of a shutdown | Reclaim Reform: What to believe? Greedy teachers, a successful budget director, a warped news account, threat of a shutdownTeacher pensions are bankrupting a state, the $30,000 per month budget consultant successfully saved the state, the legislature and governor still have no spending pla
Louisiana Charters Are by Far the Worst According to 2011 8th-grade NAEP Anaysis | deutsch29: Louisiana Charters Are by Far the Worst According to 2011 8th-grade NAEP AnaysisOne of the primary problems with Louisiana’s state-run, all-charter Recovery School District (RSD) is that the same state that is in control of data (and the official word on its data) is also committed to representing its sta
Chester-Upland can't pay its teachers -- but they're working anyway | Philadelphia Public School Notebook: Chester-Upland can't pay its teachers -- but they're working anywayPhoto: Kimberly Paynter/WHYYTeachers at Science and Discovery High School in ChesterTeachers union president Michele Paulick said she received some unwelcome news at the Chester Upland School District teacher convocation this
CCSS Follow Up System: More than Money Will Follow Your Students | commoncorediva: CCSS Follow Up System: More than Money Will Follow Your StudentsIn fighting the War Against the Core, we’ve all met those warriors who are great at sending tips to areas of the “Common Core” overreach into our lives. From an educational standpoint, we’ve seen the CCSS Machine usurp our schools; from a privacy standp
Have charter schools left out some New Orleans students?: In reforming New Orleans, have charter schools left some students out?JUDY WOODRUFF: That brings us, appropriately, to our look at what’s happened to New Orleans’ schools over the course of the past decade and the big changes that they have undergone.It’s a story we have reported on closely throughout.Tonight, John Tulenko of Education Week
SPECIAL NITE CAP CORPORATE ED REFORMHolding Charter Schools Accountable | Center for Popular DemocracyHolding Charter Schools Accountable | Center for Popular Democracy: HOLDING CHARTER SCHOOLS ACCOUNTABLEAs the charter sector grows far faster than originally envisioned, the risks are high and growing, while the benefits are less clear.Why Are Charters Exempt from Meaningful Oversight?Charter enro