Monday, August 15, 2016

NYC Public School Parents: On Tuesday, will CAP convince on testing? Will CCS rehabilitate its image? Doubtful at best

NYC Public School Parents: On Tuesday, will CAP convince on testing? Will CCS rehabilitate its image? Doubtful at best:

On Tuesday, will CAP convince on testing? Will CCS rehabilitate its image? Doubtful at best

City and State just announced their annual Education Forum, to take place on next Tuesday, August 16.  It has the usual cast of corporate types and establishment figures, but still there are some surprises.

The panel on "Standards and Testing: What works, What Doesn’t' doesn't include any representatives from anti-Common Core and opt-out groups.  The historic success of their grassroots movement caused the Governor and other NY officials to switch positions on high-stakes testing,  and led to 250,000 students opting out of the the state exams this year.

Instead, along with Betty Rosa, the Chancellor of the Regents, and Commissioner Elia, the panel features representatives of Gates-funded groups that are relentless promoters of the Common Core and high-stakes testing that parents have already rejected in huge numbers: the Urban League and the Center for American Progress.  (The National Urban League has received $1.3 million dollars from Gates since 2015; theNew York Urban League nearly $500,000 since 2014.  The Center for American Progress  has received $4.5 million  in Gates funds for its K12 advocacy since 2010.)

The discussion is supposed to center on CAP's "Testing Bill of Rights" which was released with much fanfare last March, but has since sunk like a stone.  Not surprisingly, it does not include the right to opt out of excessive, unreliable or flawed tests.

CAP along with City and State had planned a press conference in NYC on March 24, right before the testing season, but the event was mysteriously cancelled at the last minute. It was supposed to be co-hosted by another bunch of NY Gates-funded groups including Educators 4 Excellence ($4M) and High Achievement NY (which doesn't disclose the source of its funding, but has admitted the bulk of it comes from Gates.).

Instead, a press call was hurriedly scheduled with Governor Markell of Delaware and the President of the National PTA -- another Gates-funded organization, "to focus on the right of teachers, parents, and students to high-quality tests that accurately assess student learning and help teachers understand how to improve instruction" -- none of which is true of NY exams, of course, or likely any of the other Common Core tests around the country.

The day before the press call, CAP also released  a very unfunny video onUnfunny or Die, satirizing clueless parents who throw away all their daughter's books and put tinfoil on her head -- supposedly to protect her against the Common Core.   This condescending video was widely criticized from the rightand the left, and justly sank like a stone as well. As Peter Greene put it, "anyone who is familiar with Common Core or the criticism of it knows that CAP isn't just taking shots at a straw man, but a picture of a straw man pinned to the straw lapel of a straw suit being worn by a straw man." 


in an interview in the the Washington Post, Melinda Gates  said they will continue to "stay the course" but acknowledged the fight to save the Common Core and high- stakes testing will now devolve to the states.  She said their Foundation will have to focus more on "community buy-in".  Apparently not satisfied with the lack of success of all the other organizations the Foundation funds in NY,  last week yet another pro-Common Core organization was launched with Gates money: a NY chapter of the DC-centered Education Trust (EdTrust has received over $2.8 million from Gates in 2016 alone).

One has to wonder how much CAP (or really Gates) paid for their prominent position in this forum, to try to re-introduce their lemon of a NYC Public School Parents: On Tuesday, will CAP convince on testing? Will CCS rehabilitate its image? Doubtful at best:



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