Monday, November 4, 2019

When Facts Get In The Way, Change Them - Carl J. Petersen - Medium

When Facts Get In The Way, Change Them - Carl J. Petersen - Medium

When Facts Get In The Way, Change Them


When Six Flags purchased two identical Intamin Impulse Coasters in 2001, they placed one of them in Marine World (now Discovery Kingdom) in Vallejo, California. The ride’s height surpassed the city’s limitation of 150 feet so they solved the problem by changing the marketing. The press release announcing the coaster being built at Six Flags Great America stated that “the vehicle rockets up a 185-foot spiral tower”. It then went on to state that “after traversing the first peak, the guests swoop backward through the station and up a second, 185-foot tower.” However, the Marine World release touted the identical roller coasters as having “two 150-foot vertical sky towers.” Both rides were described as having a “630 feet of U-shaped” track.
Eventually, Vallejo city officials noticed that there were 35 additional feet of steel on each of the coaster’s two towers. Before opening in 2002, the coaster was modified so that it conformed to the city’s building codes.
Trump’s fans are more gullible than the city of Vallejo. They think that their president has saved the economy even if it has been almost five years since the GDP grew by 5.5% in a quarter. Also, by this point in the Obama presidency, stocks had risen by 50.6%. Trump’s supporters think that he is doing better with a growth of 37.7%. Even with the tax cuts that plunged our country deeper into debt1.493 million fewer jobs were created during Trump’s first 31 months in office than in Obama’s last 31 months.
The willful ignorance of the Trump base is a direct result of his mastery of branding. Before the public even had a chance to see the Mueller Report, he had his Attorney General mischaracterize the findings by stating that there was “no collusion, no obstruction.” It was a message repeated ad nauseam by the President and his fellow purveyors of fake news. When the report was finally released it did not matter that Mueller had actually shown that Trump and his campaign had committed both.
The same strategy is being used as Trump edges towards becoming the third president in American history to be impeached. His supporters cling to a narrative that ignores the contents of a transcript between the American and Ukrainian presidents to claim “no quid pro quo.” Trump himself has become so invested in the lie about his “perfect call” that he reportedly would like to read the evidence against him aloud in a nationally televised fireside chat.
Unfortunately, the virus that creates false realities has not been isolated to the White House. In Los Angeles, School Board Member Nick Melvoin was caught red-handed conspiring with the charter school industry to hand over CONTINUE READING: When Facts Get In The Way, Change Them - Carl J. Petersen - Medium

NH Dem on House Education Committee Says "F--- Private and Religious Schools!" – InsideSources

NH Dem on House Education Committee Says "F--- Private and Religious Schools!" – InsideSources

NH Dem on House Education Committee Says “F— Private and Religious Schools!”



Democratic State Rep. Tamara Meyer Le has a message for New Hampshire’s private and religious schools: “F*** you.” Literally.
In an October 20th Facebook post, the Seacoast progressive and member of the House Education Committee used the profanity in a diatribe on her public FB page regarding her 8th-grade daughter’s friends applying to private high schools.
“And then it happened. The Sunday afternoon my 8th grade daughter who is getting A-/B+s in 8th grade had to learn – while her friends were applying to private high schools – we would not be,” Le wrote. “Private and religious schools do not have anti-discrimination policies that protect students with disabilities.”
“F*** private and religious schools,” Le concluded. Several of her fellow House Democrats ‘liked’ her comment, including Reps. Casey Conley and Heidi Hamer.
Le did not respond to multiple requests from NHJournal for comment. However, at least one person responded to her post by objecting to Le’s anti-private and anti-religious school sentiment. “I take offense to your [commen]. It’s foul and also not that black and white! I believe every parent needs to do what is best for each of CONTINUE READING: NH Dem on House Education Committee Says "F--- Private and Religious Schools!" – InsideSources

How Gaggle Surveils Every Document, Email, Chat, And Picture That Students Create

How Gaggle Surveils Every Document, Email, Chat, And Picture That Students Create

Gaggle Knows Everything About Teens And Kids In School
Gaggle monitors the work and communications of almost 5 million students in the US, and schools are paying big money for its services. Hundreds of company documents unveil a sprawling surveillance industrial complex that targets kids who can’t opt out.

This is part of a BuzzFeed News package on schools and social media surveillance. Read more here.
For the 1,300 students of Santa Fe High School, participating in school life means producing a digital trail — homework assignments, essays, emails, pictures, creative writing, songs they've written, and chats with friends and classmates.
All of it is monitored by student surveillance service Gaggle, which promises to keep Santa Fe High School kids free from harm.
Santa Fe High, located in Santa Fe, Texas, is one of more than 1,400 schools that have taken Gaggle up on its promise to “stop tragedies with real-time content analysis." It's understandable why Santa Fe's leaders might want such a service. In 2018, a shooter killed eight students and two teachers at the school. Its student body is now part of the 4.8 million US students that the for-profit "safety management" service monitors.
A college student whose middle school used Gaggle told BuzzFeed News that the tool taught them that they would always be watched. “I feel like now I’m very desensitized to the threat of my information being looked at by people,” they said.
Using a combination of in-house artificial intelligence and human content moderators paid about $10 an hour, Gaggle polices schools for suspicious or harmful content and images, which it says can help prevent gun violence and student suicides. It plugs into two of the biggest software suites around, Google’s G Suite and Microsoft 365, and tracks everything, including notifications that may float in from Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram accounts linked to a school email address.
Gaggle touts itself as a tantalizingly simple solution to a diverse set of horrors. It claims to have saved hundreds of lives from suicide during the 2018–19 school year. The company, which is based in Bloomington, Illinois, also markets itself as a tool that can detect threats of violence.
“... Maybe it teaches students some lessons, but not the ones we want them to learn.”
But hundreds of pages of newly revealed Gaggle documentation and content moderation policies, as well as invoices and student incident reports from 17 school districts around the country obtained via public records requests, show that Gaggle is subjecting young lives to relentless inspection, and CONTINUE READING: How Gaggle Surveils Every Document, Email, Chat, And Picture That Students Create

Parent Coalition for Student Privacy - https://www.studentprivacymatters.org/


Everything Wrong With Detroit's New Teacher Evaluation Scheme - Teacher Habits

Everything Wrong With Detroit's New Teacher Evaluation Scheme - Teacher Habits

Everything Wrong With Detroit’s New Teacher Evaluation Scheme

Add Detroit to the growing list of states and districts looking to revamp their teacher evaluation systems. Test-based accountability reached mania-like proportions during the Arne Duncan years but has slowly abated, with 34 states now requiring the use of test scores to evaluate teachers, down from a high of 43 in 2015. Maine made news earlier this year when its legislature voted to drop a requirement that test scores be used to rate teachers. Thanks to a new law in New York, there’s no longer a requirement that evaluations be tied to the state’s standardized grade 3-8 math and English assessments. Pennsylvania is considering similar reforms. And many states have made other changes to their evaluation systems, with some reducing their frequency and others washing their hands of the whole sordid thing by allowing districts and local bargaining units to work out the details.
What they all have in common is a tacit admission that evaluating teachers on the basis of student test scores is a stupid idea. Of course, teachers could have told them that all along (and we did), but even without test-based accountability, designing a system that fairly evaluates teachers has proven to be a Herculean task. There are a lot of reasons for that, and Detroit’s proposed new teacher evaluation system illustrates some of the challenges.

 Don’t Give Them Your Power! | Teacher in a strange land

 Don’t Give Them Your Power! | Teacher in a strange land

Don’t Give Them Your Power!


And the follow-up, somehow even more depressing: The principal of the Connecticut middle school said she did not believe the incident was racially motivated.
There’s more rationalizing, in the local paper. The principal is doing what principals do: trying to express that they’re just kids, prone to goofy adolescent misbehaviors, while explaining just how they’re going to sharply address this in school—assemblies, suspensions, whatever’s in the disciplinary toolbox.
But I’m with Greg Johnson, a local civil rights leader, who said ‘spitting in the museum — opened three years ago to highlight the contributions of African Americans and educating visitors about the history of slavery — was itself a racist act.’
As it happens, I visited the African American History Museum for the first time a few months ago, a road trip with two old friends who were also going for the first time. It was absolutely the best adult field trip ever—it’s a fantastic national resource (thinking like a teacher). And also, one tiny and way-overdue step toward recognizing the unsung economic and cultural contributions of the involuntary diaspora of African-Americans in the United States.
There was a lot to see, to appreciate and to learn. The viewing crowd that day was about 2/3 African American and 1/3 Other. There was a grandmother, wrapped in a CONTINUE READING:  Don’t Give Them Your Power! | Teacher in a strange land
Image result for Middle School Student On A Trip To DC Spat On A Black Person At The African American History Museum.

CURMUDGUCATION: PA: House Speaker Mike Turzai Is Upset, Again

CURMUDGUCATION: PA: House Speaker Mike Turzai Is Upset, Again

PA: House Speaker Mike Turzai Is Upset, Again

PA House Speaker Mike Turzai is not a huge fan of public schools, and especially not the teachers who work. He was happy to host Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos when she visited Harrisburg. It was that visit that yielded the special moment when Turzai told some protesting teachers that they were special interests who are  part of a monopoly and that they don't care about the children. Personally, I've heard the tale of elected school officials who were visiting Harrisburg and dared to ask about funding. "You people already get plenty of money," the speaker allegedly snapped. At least he didn't do it publicly-- Mike Turzai is the guy caught on video bragging that Voter ID laws would give the state to Mitt Romney.

Turzai was the author of the bill intended to double the educational tax credits (aka vouchers) in PA. His idea of bailing out Harrisburg schools is to force them to go to a voucher system.

So it's no surprise to find him in the Philadelphia Inquirer writing an op-ed arguing that choice opponents should stop talking so mean. It's a fine example of the kind of spin and obfuscation used by anti-public ed politicians.


This guy
Turzai's preferred argument is that old "we give you people too much money already" complaint, with a variety of corners cut.

"Pennsylvania spends more that $33 billion in state and local taxes on public education," he says, which is true, but the devilish detail here is that the lion's share of that comes from local taxpayers. Pennsylvania ranks 43rd in the amount of state funding for schools. That means that there is a huge spending gap in PA districts based on the local wealth. In the size of that gap between rich and poor, PA is first in the nation. We're Number One!! Yay!

PA spends $13 billion-ish on Pre-K to 12 education, which is the most we've ever spent. Turzai has CONTINUE READING: 
CURMUDGUCATION: PA: House Speaker Mike Turzai Is Upset, Again


Kentucky Parent: Why Voters Tomorrow Should Oust Privatizer Matt Bevin and Save Our Public Schools | Diane Ravitch's blog

Kentucky Parent: Why Voters Tomorrow Should Oust Privatizer Matt Bevin and Save Our Public Schools | Diane Ravitch's blog

Kentucky Parent: Why Voters Tomorrow Should Oust Privatizer Matt Bevin and Save Our Public Schools

Gay Adelmann, the mother of a recent graduate of the Jefferson County Public Schools, writes here to explain why voters in Kentucky should get rid of Matt Bevin and elect Andy Beshear as Governor.
She writes:
“During Kentucky’s past two legislative sessions, Gov. Matt Bevin lashed out at the record numbers of teachers descending upon Frankfort. But teachers are not the only ones who have been showing up in opposition to his attacks on public education. Many of us are also parents, retired teachers, students, business and community leaders, allied laborers and taxpayers. Our teachers are also taxpayers and often parents, after all. 
“We aren’t just standing up for teachers’ pay or pensions, either. We are also pushing back on Bevin’s draconian education policies, inspired by wealthy elites like the Koch Brothers and Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. His solutions involve implementing the American Legislative Exchange Council’s carefully orchestrated schemes to underfund and undermine Kentucky’s public schools, turn our “persistently low-achieving” schools over to outside operators and drastically cut teacher CONTINUE READING: Kentucky Parent: Why Voters Tomorrow Should Oust Privatizer Matt Bevin and Save Our Public Schools | Diane Ravitch's blog


Now can we talk about state school funding? Judicial challenges to equity and adequacy and the evidence based model. – Fred Klonsky

Now can we talk about state school funding? Judicial challenges to equity and adequacy and the evidence based model. – Fred Klonsky

NOW CAN WE TALK ABOUT STATE SCHOOL FUNDING? JUDICIAL CHALLENGES TO EQUITY AND ADEQUACY AND THE EVIDENCE BASED MODEL

The Illinois Constitution seems pretty clear about the role of the state in funding local schools.
In the current version adopted in 1970, the education clause (Article X, Section 1) of the Illinois Constitution states:
A fundamental goal of the People of the State is the educational development of all persons to the limits of their capacities.
The State shall provide an efficient system of high quality public educational institutions and services. Education in public schools through the secondary level shall be free. There may be such other free education as the General Assembly provides by law.
The State has the primary responsibility for financing the system of public education (Article X, Section 1).
But oddly, the courts, including the Illinois Supreme Court, have ruled that Article X, Section 1 means just the opposite of what you may think it actually says.
In Blase v Illinois, a 1973 case heard by the Illinois Supreme Court, the plaintiffs claimed CONTINUE READING: Now can we talk about state school funding? Judicial challenges to equity and adequacy and the evidence based model. – Fred Klonsky

5 Things Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Screwed Up This Month | Fatherly

5 Things Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Screwed Up This Month | Fatherly

5 Things Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Ruined This Month
Betsy DeVos runs her DoE like a messy episode of "House Hunters International."


What the hell is happening at The Department of Education? The kookiest corner of Washington, run by billionaire Secretary of Education Betsy DeVoswho has ties to Blackwater and not one — but several — private yachts in her family name, has a lot happening, none of which is a robust interest in defending public education, one of the biggest entitlement programs in the country.
In the last few weeks, Betsy DeVos and her underlings, directed by the Trump administration, have shown the limits of conservative policy-making when they failed to defend their questionably legal, or rather, unquestionably illegal, moves from the auspices of federal judges. In the past few weeks alone, DeVos has been held in contempt in court (more on that later), a DoE official stepped down and called for debt forgiveness (we’ll get into it!) and news broke that DeVos’ DoE rejected almost every single applicant for a loan forgiveness program (for what reason, you ask?) That’s not where the story ends. As the DoE is basically one big reality show, we’re recapping what went down over the past few weeks, so grab your favorite snack and settle in.
A-Plot: Betsy DeVos Held Was Held in Contempt of Court
Heavens to Betsy! This week, a federal judge fined DeVos $100,000 and held her in contempt of court after they found that DeVos had violated a court order to stop collecting loans CONTINUE READING: 5 Things Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos Screwed Up This Month | Fatherly





Fourteen Years Later, Andrea Gabor Examines the Meaning of the 2005 Seizure of New Orleans’ Public Schools | janresseger

Fourteen Years Later, Andrea Gabor Examines the Meaning of the 2005 Seizure of New Orleans’ Public Schools | janresseger

Fourteen Years Later, Andrea Gabor Examines the Meaning of the 2005 Seizure of New Orleans’ Public Schools

When Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in September of 2005, I was serving in the Justice & Witness Ministries of the United Church of Christ, a mainline Protestant denomination, as the point person tracking and staffing work in UCC congregations to support justice in public education. My job was to help our churches support equal opportunity and access to quality education and to ensure that members of our congregations understood the importance of the First Amendment separation of church and state in public schools.
In the autumn and winter of 2005, our office worked with partners in New Orleans to advocate for policies that would protect New Orleans’ most vulnerable citizens during the hurricane recovery.  Early in the fall of 2005, it wasn’t apparent that the city’s public schools would be affected, but weeks later the state intervened to take over the majority of the schools under a Louisiana law that had been amended to permit the broad takeover. All of the school district’s teachers were put on disaster leave, and on March 24, 2006, all of the school district’s teachers were dismissed or forced to retire.
My job included writing a September, beginning-of-school resource for UCC congregations. Its purpose was to highlight primary challenges to justice in our nation’s public schools. To research the 2016-2017 Message on Public Education, I traveled for a week in July, 2006 to New Orleans to learn what was happening in the public schools of a devastated city. I talked with the Rev. Torin Sanders, a member of the Orleans Parish School Board, sidelined in the state takeover. I spoke for more than an hour with Brenda Mitchell, the president of the United Teachers of New Orleans, which had been rendered—by state fiat—incapable of protecting even long-serving, tenured teachers. I drove past the former Alcee Fortier High School—previously a public neighborhood high school with open admissions—now seized by the state CONTINUE READING: Fourteen Years Later, Andrea Gabor Examines the Meaning of the 2005 Seizure of New Orleans’ Public Schools | janresseger

Seattle Schools Community Forum: NAEP, Part Two

Seattle Schools Community Forum: NAEP, Part Two

NAEP, Part Two

My first thread explained how the results from the 2018 National Assessment of Educational Progress were flat and not inspiring.  The key takeaway - aside from not much improvement - is that the gap between students at the top and those at the bottom is growing (even as those at the bottom are doing better).

Let's see reactions from other public education outlets, keeping in mind that Bill Gates led many reforms like Common Core and Race to the Top.


OSPI

At their website, they have a handy interactive tool where you can compare scores by demographics and, as well, compare Washington State to other states.  For example, Massachusetts is at the top for reading and ranked second for math while WA state is in the middle, ranked 27th for both reading and math.

From Superintendent Reykdal:


“For example, almost the entire nation saw 4th grade reading scores dip this year,” Reykdal continued. “While it’s comforting to know we aren’t the only ones facing this, it’s tough to draw conclusions about what’s causing that trend.”

“Our students face systemic barriers to their success related to CONTINUE READING: 
Seattle Schools Community Forum: NAEP, Part Two
Seattle Schools Community Forum: National Assessment of Educational Progress Scores Out - https://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2019/11/national-assessment-of-educational.html


Seattle Schools Community Forum: Advanced Learning Survey - https://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2019/11/advanced-learning-survey.html


Seattle Schools Community Forum: District Getting Tough on Non-Vaccinated Students - https://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/2019/11/district-getting-tough-on-non.html







John White’s 2019 LA NAEP and ACT Failure | deutsch29

John White’s 2019 LA NAEP and ACT Failure | deutsch29

John White’s 2019 LA NAEP and ACT Failure


On October 30, 2019, the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores were made public.
After seven years of John White as Louisiana’s state superintendent, the results were so unsavory White and his Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) that his Louisiana 2019 NAEP Results Summary does not include a single actual NAEP scaled score.
Instead, the propagandistic flier advertises “change from 2017 to 2019” (differences in the actual scores that are intentionally excluded) and features “Louisiana ranks No. 1 in the nation for 2019 improvement in 8th grade math scale scores and
proficiency rates” and “Louisiana’s pace of improvement since 2009 in all subjects significantly exceeds national trends.”
So, let’s look at Louisiana’s NAEP average scaled scores across time– not just from 2017 to 2019.
See these pages for Louisiana’s NAEP scores for grade 4 and grade 8.
Here are Louisiana’s actual average NAEP scaled scores across several NAEP administrations for math and reading, grades 4 and 8:
Grade 4 Math:
  • 2005: 230.23
  • 2007: 230.04
  • 2009: 229.43
  • 2011: 230.78
  • 2013: 231.37
  • 2015: 234.28
  • 2017: 228.97
  • 2019: 231.30
So, for grade 4 math, Louisiana’s 2019 average scaled score is almost 3 points lower than it was in 2015 and CONTINUE READING: John White’s 2019 LA NAEP and ACT Failure | deutsch29





Why Is “Growth Data” Risky? – redqueeninla

Why Is “Growth Data” Risky? – redqueeninla

Why Is “Growth Data” Risky?


Because it is a model that predicts the future. It is not a metric, it is not direct data or a measurement. It is a calculated estimate which is very sensitive to initial conditions and assumptions.
And assumptions are informed by the biases and ideology of those crafting the model.
If everyone’s biases and ideology were perfectly aligned then modeling concerns might be limited to issues such as privacy and transparency. However education reforms of recent decades articulate a competitive marketplace system of winners and losers, defined by these models directly. Controlling the biases that inform these models, is tantamount to controlling the landscape of what constitutes winners and losers in that marketplace. Controlling the assumptions that guide the growth models is therefore imperative to the neoliberal vision of education reform as a marketplace.
Such underlying bias is referenced in this article written by an Aspire charter executive and ideologue, for CORE-PACE, one of the myriad hidden constituents of LAUSD’s “portfolio” of research partners:
…trading … growth models for proficiency models … will not necessarily reflect the values of those tasked with creating accountability systems in education.”
https://edpolicyinca.org/sites/default/files/PB_Cremata_Sept19.pdf
Those who set the presumptions of the model, control its consequent decisions.
More, while our public, democratic school system is supposed to be transparent  CONTINUE READING: Why Is “Growth Data” Risky? – redqueeninla

Does Louisiana Really Lead The Nation In 8th Grade Math Gains? | Gary Rubinstein's Blog

Does Louisiana Really Lead The Nation In 8th Grade Math Gains? | Gary Rubinstein's Blog

Does Louisiana Really Lead The Nation In 8th Grade Math Gains?

The latest National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores for the 2019 tests were released on October 30th.  Unlike state tests for which the cutoff scores can be manipulated for political purposes, the NAEP does seem to be somewhat unbiased.  So the NAEP, sometimes called ‘The Nation’s Report Card’ does offer an interesting amount of data that I believe is worthy of analysis.
Often the NAEP results are, intentionally or unintentionally, interpreted to see if it is possible to find some kind of correlation between the education policies a state has enacted and the corresponding NAEP results.  In Obama’s 2014 State Of The Union address, he mentioned that D.C. and Tennessee were improving — as evidenced surely by their NAEP gains from 2011 to 2013 — to show that his Race To The Top recommendations, which were followed closely by those two regions, were working.
So when the 2019 results came out the other day, things looked bad for the reformers.  From 2017 to 2019, the average scale score for 4th grade reading was down 1 point, 8th grade reading was down 3 points, 4th grade math was up 1 point, and 8th grade math was down 1 point.  Though it is not clear to the public whether or not one ‘point’ is a lot or a CONTINUE READING: Does Louisiana Really Lead The Nation In 8th Grade Math Gains? | Gary Rubinstein's Blog