Friday, March 24, 2017

Freaky Friday Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all:

Freaky Friday Diane Ravitch's blog 
A site to discuss better education for all

A Year of Tillerson Emails Lost! Sad! So sad!
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used a secondary email with an alias “Wayne Tracker.” He used it to communicate with Exxon board meters about sensitive matters like climate change. A year of emails has disappeared! “Exxon Mobil 

Mercedes Schneider on Hanna Skandera, Felled by the Common Core
Mercedes Schneider comments here o n the Senate GOP decision not to move forward with Hanna Skandera as Assistant Secretary of Education for Elementary and Secondary Education because of her Common Core love. 

GOP Nixes Hanna Skandera for Top Job Because of Her Fervent Support for Common Core
Politico reported this morning that Hanna Skandera, the Commissioner of Education in New Mexico, cannot be confirmed because of her advocacy for Common Core. Skandera is a protege of Jeb Bush. Although she has never been a 

Peter Greene: Florida, the Land of Stupid
Peter Greene reports here on a sad tale of education policy in Florida, where stupidity grows faster than citrus fruit. As you may recall, Florida is one of the states with a third grader retention law, declaring that third graders cannot 

Wisconsin Community Schools Threatened by Voucher Expansion
Governor Scott Walker has been a champion of vouchers and charters. He has pushed hard to expand vouchers for religious schools. Some districts will not even lose students but will have to raise taxes to pay for voucher students. “When Superintendent Sue Kaphingst moved to Ch
Nicholas Tampio: State Testing Starts March 28, Don’t Let Them Bully You: Opt Put
Nicholas Tampio is a professor of political science in New York, and a parent of children in public schools. He warns that the State Education Department has a campaign to stop opt out from testing, based on bullying and intimidation. He writes: “All across New York, superintendents and principals have sent versions of the following statements to parents whose children are in grades 3-8 and are s
DeVos Wants More Vouchers in DC, Despite Lack of Results
The Republicans are set to expand the D.C. Voucher program, even though no evaluation has shown better test scores for D.C. voucher students and a high attrition rate. Students who get a voucher will check their constitutional rights at the door. The voucher schools may exclude students with disabilities and LGBT students. DeVos doesn’t care. Republicans have already started moving HR 1387, the S
John Merrow: Who Is Running the Show at the U.S. Department of Education?
John Merrow hears that the Department of Education in a state of confusion . “From one perspective, these are the worst of times for American public education. In his inaugural address, President Trump told the nation that we have an “education system flush with cash but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge.” His proposed budget acts on his words, cutting federa


Charles Blow: The Birth of the Biggest Lie
Charles Blow wrote an important article Day about the Trump campaign’s breath-taking lies. “A few things are clear after the congressional testimony of James Comey, the F.B.I. director, this week: “First, Donald Trump owes Barack Obama and the American people an apology for his vituperative lie that Obama committed a felo
Grit Makes a Come Back
Just when you thought we were done with discussing, debating, and dissecting grit, the New York Times publishes an article about those “character strengths” that affluent children seem to have more of. Thomas Edsall writes about the subject here. While there are substantial numbers of low-income children who have strength of character, the measures used continue to show that income and whatever i
Review: Will Higher Admission Standards for Teacher Education Produce Better Teachers?
The National Coucil for Teacher Quality issued a report calling for higher admission standards for entrants into teaching, specifically, higher SAT and ACT scores. This report was reviewed on behalf of the National Education Policy Center. It is interesting and strange that so many people think that scores on the SAT or ACT have remarkable predictive powers. The cardinal rule of psychometric is t
Betsy DeVos Raises Fees for Collectors of Student Debt, Including One of Her Former Advisors
Betsy DeVos just reversed an Obama administration rule that limited the fees that student debt collectors can charge, and one of the beneficiaries has a direct connection to her. As we are learning, making money is a sign of virtue in DeVos’s world, and the more money, the more virtue. Americans who default on some of their federal student loans are likely to pay more after Education Secretary Be
Los Angeles Charter Chain Defends CEO Income of $471,842
The Los Angeles Times published an article exposing the bloated expenses and income of the CEO of the Celerity Charter chain. No shame or embarrassment. The charter chain defended the CEO’s salary and perks.
Betsy DeVos’s Super PAC Contributed to Defeat of Teacher Candidates in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, the public schools are under-funded, and teachers are buying their own supplies in many schools. Last fall, a number of teachers ran for legislative seats. Needless to say, none of them was lavishly funded. But their opponents had the backing of Betsy DeVos’ American Federation for Children. How AFC can be “for” children when they oppose funding their schools and paying their teacher
FairTest: The Latest News About Testing Resistance and Reform
Bob Schaeffer of FairTest reports on testing news from across the nation. Responding to escalating grassroots pressure against standardized exam overkill, many state legislatures and education boards are advancing plans reduce testing overuse and misuse. Close monitoring by constituents is necessary to ensure that high-sounding proposals are actually implemented. National Tell Your State to Consu

MAR 22

Iowa: One of Nation’s Best Public School Systems, Poised to Expand Vouchers for Religious Schools
Dana Goldstein, one of the best education writers, now reports for the New York Times. In this article , she describes the rush to expand vouchers for religious schools in Iowa. You don’t have to look far to find funding by Betsy DeVos and the Koch brothers. “Despite Republican control of the governor’s mansion and both houses of the State Legislature, proposals to significantly expand school cho
Julian Vasquez Heilig Debates Christopher Stewart at Cal State Sacramento
Here is a recap of the debate between Julian Vasquez Heilig and Christopher Stewart of the Walton-funded “Education Post.” The proposition debated was “Charters and Vouchers are the answer.”
Texas: Voucher Advocates Bombard Legislators with Fake Letters of Support
Texas legislators became suspicious when the letters began pouring advocating for vouchers. Some investigation revealed that they were fraudulent. “Several members of the House have received hundreds of fraudulent letters addressed from constituents asking them to vote for education savings accounts. “State Rep. Drew Springer, R-Muenster, was suspicious when his office fielded 520 letters between
One Month from Today Is EARTH DAY: March for Science!
The first Earth Day occurred in 1970, and it raised awareness of the importance of protecting the environment. Now, more than ever, we must all stand together to support the environment, to defend science, to denounce fake theories, and to protect the earth. The Trump administration thinks that climate change is a hoax. Trump’s budget makes deep cuts in the budget of the Environmental Protection
Raj Chetty Finds that Public Colleges Are Engines of Social Mobility
I have often criticized economist Raj Chetty for his study claiming that teachers in elementary school who “produce” test score gains affect the lifetime earnings of their students. This study, which he conducted with two other economists, supported Arne Duncan’s obsession with measuring teacher effectiveness by test scores of their student, a practice that was repeatedly debunked by scholarly or
California Teachers Form Statewide Alliance to Fight for Real School Reform
Teachers organizations from across the state of California have formed an alliance to fight for genuine School reform. CALIFORNIA: 8 Teacher Union Locals Unite Against the Trump/DeVos Agenda, Fight for Public Schools through Collective Bargaining, Community Power United around common struggles and a shared vision, The California Alliance for Community Schools is a groundbreaking coalition of educ
Audrey Amrein-Beardsley: William Sanders, Creator of Value-Added Model for Teacher Evaluation, Dies at 74
Audrey Amrein-Beardsley has devoted a large portion of her professional life to criticizing the work of William Sanders, creator of the value-added model for measuring teacher effectiveness. She reports in this post that he passed away at his Tennessee home at the age of 74. Sanders’ model was tried out first in Tennessee in the late 1980s and then widely disseminated to other states. Many teache
Notre Dame: A Debate about School Choice
On Wednesday night, there will be a debate about school choice at the Notre Dame Law School. South Bend, Indiana. Robin Potter, a lawyer,will support the importance of public schools. John Schoenig of Notre Dame will defend school choice. Wednesday night March 22 at 5:30 pm. If you can attend, contact Robin 
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