Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Shiny objects and false narratives: Time to refuse it all | educationalchemy

Shiny objects and false narratives: Time to refuse it all | educationalchemy:

Shiny objects and false narratives: Time to refuse it all





Joanne Weiss is the author of an article entitled Competing Principles:Race to the Top, a $4 billion US education reform effort, produced valuable lessons on designing a competition-based program.
Here’s the main page at Stanford: Competing Principles (SSIR)
Weiss’ main conclusion is: “Competitions are an imperfect way to drive change. Yet as our experience with Race to the Top shows, they can serve as a crucible of reform for forward-thinking leaders. A well-designed competition can spur innovation, create a marketplace for new ideas, engage multiple stakeholders in a broad-based reform effort, and create conditions in which rapid change is possible—even in a traditionally change-resistant field. We will not know the full impact of Race to the Top for several more years. Already, though, it has provided important lessons for policymakers.
But what else do we need to know about Joanne Weiss and her “competing principles”?
In research I did a while back regarding Common Core I noted:
“The director of Race to the Top is Joanne Weiss, who worked with the Broad Foundation, which also has as one of its acting members Chester Finn with the Fordham Institute. Broad Foundation is also a member of ALEC, which sponsored the bill called the Parent Trigger Act.”
Derek Furr, author of “Education in the Age of Neoliberalism,” states:
Joanne Weiss, Education Secretary Arne Duncan’s chief of staff, wrote glowingly that, ‘The development of common standards and shared assessments radically alters the market for innovation in curriculum development, professional development, and formative assessments. … The adoption of common standards and shared assessments means that education entrepreneurs will enjoy national markets where the best products can be taken to scale.’ Taken in total, these reforms and initiatives effectively created a bonanza for a private sector that scurried to cash in.”
Jane Robbins in her post “Feds Confess Truth About Common Core” writes:
Joanne Weiss was the director of USED’s Race to the Top (RttT) program, the vehicle through which states were bribed Shiny objects and false narratives: Time to refuse it all | educationalchemy:

Seattle teachers' approach in contract fight drew on broad, community-based issues | OregonLive.com

Seattle teachers' approach in contract fight drew on broad, community-based issues | OregonLive.com:

Seattle teachers' approach in contract fight drew on broad, community-based issues



Margaret Gingrich, a second-grade teacher at Montlake Elementary school, carries a picket sign as she and other members of the Seattle Education Association, the union that represents striking teachers from the Seattle School District, file into a meeting hall, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, in Seattle to discuss a tentative contract agreement that was reached with the district Tuesday morning, the fifth day of the strike. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)


SEATTLE — Striking Seattle teachers whoreached a tentative contract deal tapped into the concerns of the community to win unusual concessions: guaranteed 30-minute recess for elementary students and teams created to address race and equity in schools.
The dispute that delayed the school year for 53,000 Seattle students by a week reflects a strategy shift by teachers nationwide to take on broader issues that promote the public interest, experts say.
"Teachers are positioning themselves to be about much more than raising their own pay," said Bob Bruno, a professor of labor and employment at University of Illinois who closely follows teacher issues.
They are "moving the bargaining away from the worker-centered economic interest to the broader defense of education. It's not just the contractual dispute that we have. We want to use the collective bargaining process to improve and protect public education."
However, pay was a big sticking point as teachers who have gone six years without a state cost-of-living raise complained about expenses skyrocketing while the city's highly paid technology sector booms.
Teachers argued for better pay, fair teacher evaluations and reduced workloads, but they also tapped into community protests over too much testing, not enough recess and concerns about racial disparity in discipline and student performance. Many had complained that some schools only had 15 minutes of recess and that low-income schools were the most affected.
"By focusing on issues like recess, race equity and too much testing, they really highlighted the fact that their contract bargaining is about quality education for all kids," said Wayne Au, associate professor of education at University of Washington Bothell.
Jonathan Knapp, president of the Seattle Education Association, which represents 5,000 teachers, specialists and support staff, said the union took a new approach to bargaining, working closely with parents, communities of color and other unions.
"Educators are deciding that they need to really stand up and be the advocates for public education," he said.
Students will start school Thursday, after union leadership voted to suspend the strike that began Sept. 9. The full union membership will vote on the tentative contract Sunday.
"We are grateful to both bargaining teams for working literally through the night to resolve differences," district Superintendent Larry Nyland wrote in an email to families Seattle teachers' approach in contract fight drew on broad, community-based issues | OregonLive.com:

Teachers' union head spars with education reformer over New Orleans | Washington Examiner

Teachers' union head spars with education reformer over New Orleans | Washington Examiner:

Teachers' union head spars with education reformer over New Orleans






Did New Orleans adequately address problems facing special needs students in the wake of Hurricane Katrina? Influential figures on both sides of the debate met on the same stage Wednesday.
The conservative American Enterprise Institute hosted an eventlooking back at a decade of education reforms in New Orleans in the wake of Katrina. In order to get a variety of viewpoints, pro- and anti-charter school advocates were invited to participate. During the event's final panel, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Paul Pastorek, former Superintendent of Education in Louisiana, exchanged words.
Weingarten was speaking about how the education reform model used in New Orleans had not worked well in Detroit. Rather than replicate New Orleans, she described why successful reforms had worked.
"It's this engagement, collaboration, and intervention. ... I'm actually looking at what are the strategies that work regardless of what the governance structure is."
When Pastorek had a chance to speak, he said, "It's great to have all the things that Randi talks about, you know collaboration, engagement, and such, but if it doesn't lead to results, then some serious action needs to be taken because kids can't wait for adults to get their act together."
Moments later, Weingarten got the opportunity to respond. "I would actually just take issue with something that Paul said," Weingarten said. "Of course kids only have one shot at life, and if there's anybody who's involved in public education who don't think that it's urgent to help all kids they should get out. So the issue really becomes, what is the strategy that helps? … We had to actually hammer people over the head about issues of expulsions and special needs and these data points come in after or in light of that, and that we basically have taken away people's wherewithal to actually have some kind of independent voice I think we should be looking at other models as well."
"Randi, I don't think you have your facts right," Pastorek responded. "The facts are different. We didn't hammer people down, and we didn't have to put our foot down on expulsions. That's the way we built the system in the first place to make sure that it would work well. Like any system puts rules in place to address what people complain about."
"Are you saying that I'm wrong about the issue about expulsions or the issue about special needs children?" Weingarten interjected.
"I'm saying you're wrong about saying that we had to hammer people down," Pastorek said. "We monitored both special needs and we monitored expulsions. The special needs issues in New Orleans were actually very few. … You're exaggerating the problem. It is serious, it must be focused on, there must be a system to monitor it and assure that it's being done. And it is working there. So I would say you're wrong about that."
"Am I wrong about the 2013 suit by Southern Poverty Law Center about the failure to provide adequate education for students with special needs?" Weingarten said.
"People are entitled to file lawsuits any and every day, and they do," Teachers' union head spars with education reformer over New Orleans | Washington Examiner:

Another One: Illinois Releases PARCC Results | deutsch29

Another One: Illinois Releases PARCC Results | deutsch29:

Another One: Illinois Releases PARCC Results





It seems that early release of PARCC test results is all the rage among PARCC states. At first, PARCC was reluctant on September 10, 2015, to release its complete set of freshly-minted cut scores, but it did so by the end of the day.
The word from PARCC communications director, David Connerty-Marin, was that PARCC states would release results “on its own timeline.”
Apparently for some states, that time is now.
That was a Thursday. On Monday, September 14, 2015, Ohio was the first PARCC state to release information about its online PARCC test results; then, in a September 15, 2015, memo to the state ed board, Massachusetts commissioner Mitchell Chester wrote that Massachusetts would release prelim PARCC results on September 21, 2015.
Now, on September 16, 2015, Illinois has released information about its online PARCC results.
Of course, the Illinois PARCC results are lousy. No news there. That’s the story America has been hearing before PARCC even existed– that Common Core was “higher,” and its tests would be “rigorous.” (I remember hearing this in a department meeting in early 2010.)
From the September 16, 2015, Chicago Sun Times:
What Supt. Tony Smith revealed was a vast majority of those students in Illinois were not yet proficient in math or English language arts, with only between 28 percent and 38 percent of third- through eighth-graders meeting state standards. The percentage of high-schoolers in Algebra I or Integrated Math I who exceeded standards was zero; 17 percent met them.
More Illinois students were proficient in English than in math, except for third-graders. Of the five performance levels approved Wednesday by the Illinois State Board of Education, only children who score in levels 4 or 5 are considered proficient. That said, the test carries no consequences for anyone this year.
Smith called the preliminary scores a baseline for going forward, and said that the results alone don’t tell the whole story.
“I think we should use this new test as a new starting point for our conversations about progress, and what our kids need to be ready for the next level of what’s coming in the future,” he said.
Chin up, Illinois. These lousy scores are only a half-full glass. Besides, there will be Another One: Illinois Releases PARCC Results | deutsch29:

What It Takes to Build a Truly Equitable Education System - NEA Today

What It Takes to Build a Truly Equitable Education System - NEA Today:

What It Takes to Build a Truly Equitable Education System



equitable_school_system


A brief released on Tuesdy by the National Education Policy Center (NEPC) and supported in part by the Great Lake Center for Education Research & Practice underscores much of the same vision NEA has on providing equitable opportunities for every student—opportunities grounded in support, tools, resources, and time to learn despite race, zip code, or family background. The brief also stresses that relying on test scores is insufficient when it comes to understanding the progress of students, schools, districts, and public education in general.
Investing in “Equal Opportunity: What Would It Take to Build the Balance Wheel?”uses a framework based on the vision of Horace Mann, who 150 years ago argued that education should be free and universal. This, Mann believed, would contribute to a well-educated nation and be the “great equalizer of the conditions of men, the balance wheel of the social machinery.”
Yet, despite this vision and the herculean efforts among educators nationwide to provide students with the opportunities to learn, disparities in education continue to exist.
The brief, which is consistent with NEA’s Opportunity Dashboard and the vision of the GPS Criteria and Indicators Framework, offers a way to close the gap between students in affluent communities and their peers in poor, urban, and often predominantly minority school districts.
The brief’s author, Professor Jennifer King Rice of the University of Maryland, says that the key is to incorporate the kind of learning that encourages civic responsibility, democratic values, economic self-sufficiency, cultural competency and awareness, and social and economic opportunity. Her recommendations urge schools to look beyond narrow standardized test scores, which often punish schools and students who need help the most.
Her analysis also endorses several NEA-aligned points: (1) schools strive to provide What It Takes to Build a Truly Equitable Education System - NEA Today:

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 9/16/15 #FightForDyett


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Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 9/15/15 #FightForDyett
SPECIAL NITE CAP CORPORATE ED REFORMKristina Rizga's Mission High and the Twentieth-First Century Schools We Need | John Thompson - Linkis.comKristina Rizga's Mission High and the Twentieth-First Century Schools We Need | John Thompson - Linkis.com: Kristina Rizga's Mission High and the Twentieth-First Century Schools We NeedWant to feel 40 to 50 years younger? Then, read Mission High by Kristina






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