Sunday, April 21, 2013

MORNING UPDATE LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH 4-21-13 Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

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

Click on picture to Listen to Diane Ravitch

Shocker: The PTA and McDonald’s?

A report from Melissa Westbrook, parent activist in Washington State:
“Here in Washington State, our state PTA is joining with…McDonald’s. We are supposed to believe that because McDonald’s now has apple slices that all their food is good for kids. They are even allowing the McDonald’s Director of Nutrition to speak at the state convention.
One other interesting thing is that several of our Seattle schools PTAs are weighing whether to leave the

Chicago Youth Organize to Fight Back

This just in:
My name is Emma Tai (@emmachungming) and I’m the Coordinator for Voices of Youth in Chicago Education, an organizing collaborative for education justice led by students of color from across Chicago (
Yesterday, some of our students went public with stories of being demoted from junior to sophomore status in March, a month before the PSAE state exam which is administered next week and only given to juniors, and which Mayor Emanuel has made major efforts to link to school closings and principal and teacher evaluations. Two VOYCE student leaders were on a list of 67 juniors in total who were demoted in March at a southwest side

Suggested Reading for Bill Gates

A superintendent in New York, read the interview with Bill Gates. He has a suggested reading for Bill:
“Perhaps if Mr. Gates started with students instead of trying to fix teachers and shrink high schools he’d find answers. He should start by reading Jane Healy’s Endangered Minds. First line here is most powerful sentence he may ever read.
Healy writes:
“Now, when I walk into a classroom of twenty students, be they four or forty year olds, I remind myself that I am trying to teach twenty individual brains that are probably as different in their learning patterns as my students faces are in appearance.
“As a teacher, I must accept the fact that their level of success – and thus their motivation – will be directly

Jeb Bush Salutes David Coleman and Common Core

The Republican Party is divided about the Common Core standards.
The Republican National Committee has come out in opposition to the Common Core, calling it “an inappropriate overreach to standardize and control” education. Senator Charles Grassley wants to defund the Common Core.
But Jeb Bush is one the loudest cheerleaders for the Common Core. When his sidekick Tony Bennett lost the state superintendent job in Indiana, In part because of Tea Party opposition to Common Core, Jeb Bush made sure he landed on his feet as state commissioner in Florid.
Now Jeb has declared in TIME that David Coleman, the architect of the Common Core, is one of the world’s 100 most influential people. Jeb adores the Common Core. So do the high-tech corporations that back Jeb’s Foundation for Educational Excellence.
The Republicans will have to duke this out over the next few years. Do they support federal control or local

What Data-Sharing Means for YOUR Child

The intersection of Common Core, inBloom, and the deregulation of federal privacy law is no accident.
Pay attention.

More Embarrassment for Pearson Tests

An article by journalist Yoav Gonen in the New York Post reveals that the Pearson Common Core tests given last week in New York include at least half a dozen plugs for brand name products.
In the fil industry, corporations pay to have their brand mentioned or shown.
In the world of standardized testing, it is usually forbidden to use brand names.
This is a huge embarrassment for Pearson.

Join The Fight to Save Public Education in North Carolina

If you live in North Carolina, join with parents, teachers, and other citizens, join the fight to save public schools. Join Public Schools First North Carolina.
And please attend this meeting:
To educate or not to educate in NC
Apr 12, 2013 | Written by Patsy Keever OPINION
Our rulers in Raleigh are answering that question for us with bills that they could vote into law to change everything from how Carolina and State are funded, to whether tax money ought to be used for church schools, to whether or not “Hamlet” needs to be taught to “tech” kids. If our local legislators do not hear from us, they will 

Indiana: How Tony Bennett Conned The Public and Helped Corporations

Readers may recall that outgoing Indiana State Superintendent Tony Bennett left behind a videoconferencing system that cost $1.7 million and was utterly useless because it was incompatible with the department’s existing technology. The expensive technology was purchased from Cisco Systems, which by happy coincidence employs Bennett’s former chief of staff Todd Huston.
Karen Francisco of the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette notes that the useless videoconferencing system is symptomatic of Bennett’s most important legacy: a full-bore assault on Indiana’s public school system.
She asks:
“Is the spin that is used to justify the questionable $1.7 million deal any different from the claims he used to 

Can You Answer a Question about Boston Consulting Group?

This reader has a question.
I am aware that BCG recommended mass school closings in Philadelphia and handover of students to private organizations.
Can you help?
“Which cities has the BCG done this work in so far: Memphis, New Orleans, Cleveland, Philadelphia… what about chicago/DC/Detroit??? Was that BCG work too? The BCG never released their criteria for evaluating which 

Is This Why National PTA Showed “Superman” at Its National Convention?

A reader sends this information:
SEATTLE (AP) – December 1, 2009 (WPVI) — The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is giving the National PTA $1 million to teach parents about education reform. [Common Core]
ALEXANDRIA, VA, Feb 15, 2013 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) — National PTA announced today that it received a one-year $240,000 grant from the GE Foundation [General Electric] to further its efforts on the Common Core State Standards.

LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH 4-20-13 Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

mike simpson at Big Education Ape - 9 hours ago
Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all: [image: Click on picture to Listen to Diane Ravitch] Being a Reformer Means Excuses Are OK for You, Not Students by dianerav Here is teacher Arthur Goldstein, at his sardonic best, explaining why reformers never make mistakes and if they do, it is not their fault. Clueless Bill Gates, Redux by dianerav In the year that I have had this blog, I have never posted the same article twice. I posted this one yesterday, and I am posting it again, to draw attention to some curious statements made by Bill Gates in the cou... more »