Friday, December 13, 2019

NANCY BAILEY: What We’re Waiting to Hear: The Education Fight No Candidate Mentions (Thus Far)

What We’re Waiting to Hear: The Education Fight No Candidate Mentions (Thus Far)

What We’re Waiting to Hear: The Education Fight No Candidate Mentions (Thus Far)

All the democratic presidential candidates have plans how to run the country and positively affect the world. Some have good ideas about how to improve public schools and support teachers.
But none has yet to speak about America’s education crisis.
Educators and parents who rally around public schools and the teachers who work in them know the fight. It’s no secret.
We want a presidential candidate to pledge that they will help stop the takeover of our public education system by wealthy venture capitalists, corporate CEOs, and billionaires who want to remake public education into their for-profit, privatized vision.
  • We want great public schools for all children. Not rich private schools for the wealthy and poor charters for students living in poverty.
  • We want better and fair funding of our public schools, so states and local school boards don’t have to worship the wealthy for resources that result in school closures and charter schools. Here’s Bill Gates in Tennessee.
  • We want a candidate to say no to a cheap, unqualified education workforce, fueled by groups like Teach for America, New Leaders, and Relay Graduate School of Education. There’s concern that some of the candidates have representatives from Teach for America working on their campaigns. Why? This is troubling.
  • We want schools that are  CONTINUE READING: What We’re Waiting to Hear: The Education Fight No Candidate Mentions (Thus Far)

Mayor and Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg Is Lying on Black Families Who Want a Better Education - Philly's 7th Ward

Mayor and Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg Is Lying on Black Families Who Want a Better Education - Philly's 7th Ward

MAYOR AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE PETE BUTTIGIEG IS LYING ON BLACK FAMILIES WHO WANT A BETTER EDUCATION

Mayor Buttigieg, a presidential candidate who was gaining in some polls and in Iowa, wows some folks with his talk about equity, also, like most politicians (and educators for that matter) appears to operate with a deficit mindset about Black and Brown students.
video of an interview the presidential candidate did where he claimed the issue with underachievement is that Black kids didn’t have any role models, recently surfaced giving deeper insight into how Mayor Pete really feels. It’s no surprise. I am sure as a mayor and presidential candidate, Mayor Pete hasn’t been speaking to folks who actually educate the Black children he maligns in the video.
While running for mayor in 2011, the then-candidate while speaking about poor minority children, expressed, “‘Kids’ from ‘lower income, minority neighborhoods’ don’t have ‘someone they know personally who testifies to the value of education.’”
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>“Kids” from “lower income, minority neighborhoods” don’t have “someone they know personally who testifies to the value of education.” – Pete Buttigieg, 2011 South Bend CONTINUE READING: Mayor and Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg Is Lying on Black Families Who Want a Better Education - Philly's 7th Ward

New Mexico Lawsuit: Final Update | VAMboozled!

New Mexico Lawsuit: Final Update | VAMboozled!

New Mexico Lawsuit: Final Update

In December 2015 in New Mexico, via a preliminary injunction set forth by state District Judge David K. Thomson, all consequences attached to teacher-level value-added model (VAM) scores (e.g., flagging the files of teachers with low VAM scores) were suspended throughout the state until the state (and/or others external to the state) could prove to the state court that the system was reliable, valid, fair, uniform, and the like. The trial during which this evidence was to be presented was set, and re-set, and re-set again, never to actually occur. More specifically, after December 2015 and through 2018, multiple depositions and hearings occurred. In April 2019, the case was reassigned to a new judge (via a mass reassignment state policy), again, while the injunction was still in place.
Thereafter, teacher evaluation was a hot policy issue during the state’s 2018 gubernatorial election. The now-prior state governor, Republican Susana Martinez, who essentially ordered and helped shape the state’s teacher evaluation system at issue during this lawsuit, had reached the maximum number of terms served and could not run again. All candidates running to replace her had grave concerns about the state’s teacher evaluation system. Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham ending up winning.
Two days after Grisham was sworn in, she signed an Executive Order for the entire state system to be amended, including no longer using value-added data to evaluate teachers. Her Executive Order also stipulated that the state department was to work CONTINUE READING: New Mexico Lawsuit: Final Update | VAMboozled!

Democrats, DeVos clash in fiery hearing that turned personal

Democrats, DeVos clash in fiery hearing that turned personal

Democrats, DeVos clash in fiery hearing that turned personal

House Democrats clashed with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in a Thursday hearing that nearly spun out of control when one lawmaker called DeVos “the most unpopular person in our government” and said she’s “out to destroy public education.”
DeVos was facing the House’s education committee to explain her overhaul of a federal program that erases loans for students who are cheated by their colleges. Some Democrats believe DeVos intentionally stalled the program for more than a year while she rewrote the rules and made it more difficult for students to get loan relief.
Several Democratic lawmakers had taken turns criticizing DeVos’ handling of the program when it turned personal. Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., said DeVos is the first political opponent she has encountered who is “out to destroy public education.”
“When you approach a public school, you are protested. When you enter, you are booed,” Wilson said. “You are the most unpopular person in our government. Millions will register to vote in 2020. Many will vote to remove you more than to remove the president.”
DeVos did not immediately respond, but the remark drew quick condemnation from Republicans. Rep. Virginia Foxx, the ranking Republican, interrupted to call the comment “absolutely over the line,” saying it would not have been allowed on the House floor. Another Republican tried unsuccessfully to get the remarks removed from the record.
After the hearing, the Education Department issued a statement calling the hearing “a cheap CONTINUE READING: Democrats, DeVos clash in fiery hearing that turned personal

What To Watch For At The Democratic Education Town Hall In Pittsburgh

What To Watch For At The Democratic Education Town Hall In Pittsburgh

What To Watch For At The Democratic Education Town Hall In Pittsburgh
This Saturday, a consortium of education groups is teaming up with MSNBC to host a forum for Democratic Presidential candidates, centered around education issues. The event kicks off at 9:45 and will run most of the day; it will all be livestreamed.
The crowd of about 1,000 invitation-only attendees (I’ll be one of them) includes a sampling of teachers and parents, as well as members of unions and civil rights groups. They are largely pro-public education; at least one pro-charter ed reform group (the Center for Education Reform) has put out an e-mail call to mount a protest at the event.
The format will allow each of the attending candidates to take the stage, make their pitch, and then take questions from the audience. Currently eight candidates are expected; each will have their own baggage to heft onto the stage. Here’s what to watch for with each.

Things To Remember for All Candidates
Announcing opposition to for-profit charters is a weasel move—there aren’t that many of them, and that’s not where the big money and the big trouble are. Profiteering from non-profit charters is done easily and often.
Big sweeping ideas are nice, but the federal government only has a few levers with which to affect what happens in actual classrooms. Beware promises about things the feds can’t actually do (like, say, CONTINUE READING: What To Watch For At The Democratic Education Town Hall In Pittsburgh

It's Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... A VERY BUSY DAY | The latest news and resources in education since 2007

Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... | The latest news and resources in education since 2007



It's Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day... A VERY BUSY DAY | The latest news and resources in education since 2007



Google’s New “Interpreter Mode” Makes It Easier For Teachers & Parents To Talk If They Don’t Speak Each Other’s Languages
Google has just added what they call “Interpreter Mode” to the mobile Google Assistant app. Download the free app, say something like “Be my Spanish translator,” and it will automatically translate in writing and in audio what you say in English to Spanish, and then what the other person says in Spanish into English. It can do this in forty-four languages. Obviously, the translation is not even n

YESTERDAY

“What Can Teachers Do to Highlight Student Assets & Not Their Deficits?”
What Can Teachers Do to Highlight Student Assets & Not Their Deficits? is the new question-of-the-week at my Education Week Teacher column. Feel free to leave responses in the comments section there or here…
A Look Back: Not Sure If You’ll Find A Better Guide For Making Good Presentations Than This One….
I’m beginning to republish posts that made it onto my A LOOK BACK: 2019’S BEST POSTS FROM THIS BLOG – PART TWO list. There are a lot of good guides out there for how to speak in public, and you can find many of them at The Best Sources Of Advice For Making Good Presentations . I’m not sure, though, if you’re going to find a better one – for teachers or for students – than the recent Harvard Busin
A Beginning List Of The Best “Test-Prep” Ideas For California’s English Language Assessment
eslfuntaiwan / Pixabay Early next year schools around California will begin administering the English Language Proficiency Assessments for California (ELPAC) , which must be given to all English Language Learners . Though I am no stranger to ethical test prep for standardized tests (see Best Posts On How To Prepare For Standardized Tests (And Why They’re Bad) and, in particular, my article on “Et
Pins Of The Week
I’m fairly active on Pinterest and, in fact, have curated 20,000 resources there that I haven’t shared on this blog. I thought readers might find it useful if I began sharing a handful of my most recent “pins” each week (I’m not sure if you can see them through an RSS Reader – you might have to click through to the original post). You might also be interested in MY MOST POPULAR PINS OF 2019 The f
Video: Trailer For Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In The Heights” Looks Terrific
geralt / Pixabay The trailer for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “In The Heights” came out today, and it looks terrific! It’s coming out in June. I was lucky enough to see a great stage production of it earlier this year. You might also be interested in The Best Teaching/Learning Resources On The Musical, “Hamilton”
My Latest BAM! Radio Show Is On Using Writing To Support Reading Instruction
Double Dipping: Using Writing to Support Reading and Reading to Support Writing is the title of my latest ten-minute BAM! Radio Show. I’m joined by Mary Beth Niklaus, Tony Zani and Mary Tedrow, who have all contributed written 

Mitchell Robinson: Predictions for the Pittsburgh Public Education Forum 2020 | Eclectablog

Predictions for the Pittsburgh Public Education Forum 2020 | Eclectablog

Predictions for the Pittsburgh Public Education Forum 2020

Given that education consistently ranks among the top issues for voters in most public opinion polls, with the vast majority (82%) of parents of school-aged children reporting that they are either “somewhat” or “completely satisfied” with their child’s education, one could be forgiven for being flummoxed by the near-absence of questions about teachers, schools, or education in general at any of the Democratic presidential debates thus far.
And while each of the candidates would likely claim that education is “very important” to them, the silence of most of these candidates on matters of education policy has been deafening. Only two of the candidates (Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren) have released anything resembling a coherent education plan, although no one should be surprised if some of the others use this opportunity to unveil plans of their own in front of what is sure to be an appreciative, if somewhat wary audience.
Which makes Saturday’s “Public Education Forum” in Pittsburgh more of a mystery at this point than anything else.
That said, the event’s organizers (Alliance for Educational Justice, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, American Federation of Teachers, Center for Popular Democracy Action, Journey for Justice Alliance, NAACP, National Education Association, Network for Public Education, Opportunity to Learn Action Fund, Schott Foundation for Public Education, Service CONTINUE READING: Predictions for the Pittsburgh Public Education Forum 2020 | Eclectablog

Wendy Lecker: Stop Blaming Schools for Chronic Absenteeism | Diane Ravitch's blog

Wendy Lecker: Stop Blaming Schools for Chronic Absenteeism | Diane Ravitch's blog

Wendy Lecker: Stop Blaming Schools for Chronic Absenteeism


In the era of Bush-Obama education policy, it became conventional wisdom to blame schools for the effects of poverty. Civil rights lawyer Wendy Lecker explains that the test-and-punish regime continues by blaming schools and punishing them for chronic absenteeism. 
She writes:
NCLB measured school quality based on standardized test scores and relied on sanctions such as school turnaround, takeover and privatization. After almost two decades under NCLB, and the acknowledgment that the metric was inaccurate and the prescriptions were ineffective, the federal government decided to try a tweaked version of its failed test-and-punish regime.
The ESSA system employs multiple “indicators” of school quality. Each indicator provides schools and districts with points that together dictate what types of sanctions are imposed. The dashboard showing the schools’ and districts’ points for each indicator are also published online.
Nowhere on this dashboard is the state graded for CONTINUE READING: Wendy Lecker: Stop Blaming Schools for Chronic Absenteeism | Diane Ravitch's blog

Jeff Bryant: Charter Schools’ Billion-Dollar Fraud Stinks Worse Than We Thought | OurFuture.org by People's Action

Charter Schools’ Billion-Dollar Fraud Stinks Worse Than We Thought | OurFuture.org by People's Action

Charter Schools’ Billion-Dollar Fraud Stinks Worse Than We Thought


Earlier this year, when members of Congress repeatedly confronted U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos about a study finding the federal government’s charter school grant program had wasted an estimated $1 billion on schools that had never opened or opened and quickly closed, she dismissed the findings and accused the report authors of having a “political agenda against charter schools.” On December 10, the organization that published the study DeVos disparaged issued a more detailed examination of waste in the government’s charter grant program and concluded the $1 billion figure was indeed likely not correct—it was an underestimate.
The report “Still Asleep at the Wheel: How the Federal Charter Schools Program Results in a Pileup of Fraud and Waste” by the Network for Public Education (NPE) calculates approximately $1.17 billion in federal funding has been spent on charters that either never opened or that opened and have since shut down. Much of the added waste the study found in the charter program comes from the researchers’ findings that way more of these charters have closed or never opened than originally estimated. Based on its second passthrough of the data, NPE upped the failure rate of taxpayer-funded charter startups from 30 percent to 37 percent.
The new report arrives at an especially critical time in the discussion about charter schools in the Democratic presidential primary.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, one of the four front-runners in the race, has proposed “halting the use of public funds to CONTINUE READING: Charter Schools’ Billion-Dollar Fraud Stinks Worse Than We Thought | OurFuture.org by People's Action

At Forum Tomorrow, 8 Dem Candidates Will Address Public Education, Including New Report on Waste and Fraud in Federal Charter Schools Program | janresseger

At Forum Tomorrow, 8 Dem Candidates Will Address Public Education, Including New Report on Waste and Fraud in Federal Charter Schools Program | janresseger

At Forum Tomorrow, 8 Dem Candidates Will Address Public Education, Including New Report on Waste and Fraud in Federal Charter Schools Program

On Monday, the Network for Public Education published a new, in depth report on the scandalous waste of federal funds disseminated since 1995 through the federal Charter Schools Program. The report, Still Asleep at the Wheel: How the Federal Charter Schools Program Results in a Pileup of Fraud and Waste, is posted along with interactive maps, in which you can examine case studies of the waste of federal funds in each of the 43 states where the federal government has awarded Charter Schools Program (CSP) grants.
Last spring, the Network for Public Education released an earlier report, Asleep at the Wheel, which tracked outrageous waste of federal funds disseminated in federal CSP grants to states.  The stated purpose of state level CSP grants is to stimulate startups of new charter schools. CSP grants to the big charter management organizations are intended to help them expand by sponsoring additional schools.
Why has the Network for Public Education published a second investigative report on the federal charter schools program? “When our first report was issued, we were dismayed that rather than investigate our claims, Secretary DeVos instead dismissed the report as ‘political.’  It became clear that negligence in the administration of the program was not caused by a lack of awareness or capacity, but was rather accepted practice by the Department when it came to Charter Schools Program grants. We therefore continued our investigation with three objectives. The first was to move beyond our estimation of waste, and document the amount of federal tax dollars that have been spent on defunct schools.”
NPE continues: “Our second objective was to determine how it could be possible that such a CONTINUE READING: At Forum Tomorrow, 8 Dem Candidates Will Address Public Education, Including New Report on Waste and Fraud in Federal Charter Schools Program | janresseger

College Board Sued for Soliciting and Selling Students’ Personal Information | deutsch29

College Board Sued for Soliciting and Selling Students’ Personal Information | deutsch29

College Board Sued for Soliciting and Selling Students’ Personal Information




On December 10, 2019, an Illinois parent identified as “Mark S.” filed a class action lawsuit against College Board for soliciting and selling personal information from minor students taking College Board’s standardized tests.
The 38-page complaint, filed in US District Court, District of Northern Illinois, Eastern Division, alleges the following (from the introduction of the case):
Every year, hundreds of thousands of students in Illinois and millions of students across the United States take one or more standardized tests provided by Defendant College Board –including, the SAT, PSAT/NMSQT, PSAT 10, PSAT 8/9and Advanced Placement Exams(“AP Exams”)(collectively, the “Standardized Tests”). While students were made to believe the results of these tests would significantly impact their futures, to Defendant College Board the tests served a wholly different purpose–i.e., to obtain highly valuable personal student information. Defendant College Board obtained the students’ personal information through the use of unfair and deceptive practices such as: (a) misrepresenting that it did not sell the information; (b) falsely claiming that the personal information would“[g]uide your counselors in helping you plan your future”; and (c) preying on students’ hopes and fears by making it appear that providing the information could assist with college acceptance and financial aid while not providing the information would be detrimental to those goals–when in fact, neither scenario was true. As Defendant College Board has admitted, whether a student provided the information did not impact his chance of being accepted into colleges or scholarship programs in any way.
College Board’s solicitation of the student information in question occurs via completion of its “Student Search Service” section, which students are asked to CONTINUE READING: College Board Sued for Soliciting and Selling Students’ Personal Information | deutsch29