Thursday, April 18, 2013

MORNING UPDATE LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH 4-18-13 Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

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

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Raleigh, NC: Show Your Support for Public Schools This Saturday

A teacher in North Carolina contacted me to let me know that Students for Education Reform, an offshoot of DFER, will hold a rally this Saturday from 2-5 pm at Halifax Court in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina.
No doubt they will mimic their parent group in demanding more high-stakes testing, more privatization, more evaluation of teachers by test scores (but NOT in charter schools), and other aspects of the corporate reform agenda.
With the NC legislature poised to pass legislation to create a state commission to open charters that are 

How Pearson Cheats on State Tests

A teacher in upstate New York wrote me to say that the state English language arts test for 8th grade (written by Pearson) contained a passage that his students had read a week earlier—in a Pearson 8th grade textbook! The story is “Why Leaves Turn Color in Fall,” by Diane Ackerman. The story appears on page 540 of the Pearson textbook.
Moral of the story: if you want your students to succeed on the state tests written by Pearson, be sure to buy the Pearson textbooks.
The teacher wrote:
I am an 8th grade teacher in Xxxx, NY. On Day 1 of the NYS ELA 8 Exam, I discovered what I believe to be a huge ethical flaw in the State test. The state test included a passage on why leaves change color that is 

When Is a Class of 23 Underutilized, When Is It Just Right?

Matt Farmer, Chicago public school parent, asks an important question: when does Mayor Rahm Emanuel consider a class of 23 to be underutilized? When does he think it is just right?
A public school in Chicago can be closed down if it has a class size of 23.
But where is it just right?

Tennessee Legislature Back on Track to Gut Local Control

Last year, the Metro Nashville school board rejected Great Hearts Academy four times because it insisted on locating its charter school in the city’s most affluent neighborhood, with no plans for diversity. The rejection was entirely appropriate inasmuch as the new charter would be the equivalent of a publicly-funded private school for affluent white students.
In Arizona, Great Hearts was known for high test scores, but also for expecting parents to contribute $1,200-1,500 annually to defray school costs and keep classes small. For parents thinking of private schools, that’s a bargain, but it’s not public education. Last year, Great Hearts acquired a certain notoriety when the Arizona 

High-Stakes Standardized Testing: A Zombie Policy

Ilena Ewell and Pamela Grundy are parents in North Carolina.
They say that the standardized tests are like zombies.
“How are standardized tests like zombies? They’re mindless, and they just keep coming. For more than a decade, North Carolina schools and students have suffered from an onslaught of high-stakes standardized tests. These zombie tests have invaded our schools, sucking time and money from teaching and learning. They’ve deadened creativity and original thought, squashed imagination, stripped both teachers and students of dignity.
“Like zombies, these tests just won’t die. Despite conclusive evidence that the explosion of testing under No Child Left Behind did more harm than good, the numbers and the cost of tests continue to multiply.”
Ewell and Grundy say it is madness. They call on their legislators to spare their children. Enough is enough.
Read more here:

Walton Family Foundation Supporting Mass School Closings in Chicago

The Walton Family Foundation has an overriding interest in school pro privatization. They commit about $160 million each year for charters, vouchers, Tech for America, think tanks, and media. Everything they do has the singular goal of dismantling public education and opening the schools to untrained, uncertified teachers.
Here is news from the Chicago Teachers Union about the role of Walton in the proposed closing of 54 public 

Florida: Now the Lawsuits Begin

Teachers in Florida are suing because they are being evaluated on the basis of students they didn’t teach and subjects they don’t teach.
This is manifestly unfair.
Imagine being fired because the scores didn’t go up in someone else’s class.
Let the lawsuits begin.
In time, the madness will end, and those who created it and perpetuated will be covered with shame and disgrace.

Diane in the Evening 4-17-13 Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

coopmike48 at Big Education Ape - 4 hours ago
Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all: Duncan Urges US Chamber of Commerce to Defend Common Core by dianerav Arne Duncan is concerned about the backlash against the federal government’s heavy-handed imposition of the Common Core. At a speech to business leaders in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, he urged their support for Common Core. He probably forgot that the U.S. Department of Education is legally prohibited from being involved in any matters that prescribe curriculum or instruction to the nation’s public schools. When Students in New Orleans Got... more »