Saturday, May 4, 2013

Diane in the Evening 5-4-13 Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

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

High-Stakes Testing of Students in Special Education

Louise Marr sent this from her book:
“Every spring, the Philadelphia public school students take the standardized tests, or PSSAs. (Starting in 2013, the district has switched to a different test called the Keystone Exams.) These tests are a huge part of how schools are evaluated and rated. It is from these scores that Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) is determined. There is a big push to prepare the eleventh graders for the tests from the beginning of the year to test day, usually after the first of the year. This particular year at Vaux, the students took the test over a course of several days. They 

Teacher: No One Escapes High-Stakes Testing, Not Even My Child

This teacher was accustomed to teaching poor minority kids how to pass the tests. She was really good at it.
But she was shocked to discover that her own children’s school–in an affluent neighborhood in Brooklyn–had succumbed to the same pressures.
Testing, as she realized, had found her and her children. There was no escape. She concluded:
“As I reflect on why I was (am?) so shocked that testing had found me, I recognize that I honestly believed that my children were immune to high-stakes testing given our race and class privilege, and as much as I consider 

Why We Need School Libraries

This was written by a parent in Los Angeles, who blogs as the Red Queen in LA:
Disarticulating Public Schools
It was a bad day 30 years ago when some business management-type decided to restructure academic departments to be fiscally self-sustaining, economically independent. In this scenario university libraries, a service-providing unit with no inherent money-generating capacity, would be held to the same standard as, say, microbiology with all its grant-overhead revenue generating potential.
Faddish ideas are hard to stop, even bad ones and so this conundrum has trickled down to our primary and secondary level of schooling too. But the model there remains inherently inappropriate; it can never be made to 

Yes, Too Good to Be True

Earlier I posted a story about an elementary school in Massachusetts where the principal fired the security guards and expanded the arts program….and, voila! The school miraculously improved.
The title was, “Could This Be True?”
Sadly, it was not true.
According to our friends in Massachusetts, the principal fired most of the teachers and the enrollment of the school changed, raising its socioeconomic profile.
No miracle.
Here is a comment from EduShyster:
“Barack Obama visited this school just last year–although the principal’s decision to bulk up the arts budget was 

LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH 5-4-13 Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

mike simpson at Big Education Ape - 4 minutes ago
Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all: [image: Click on picture to Listen to Diane Ravitch] Mentor: How to Fix Teach for America by dianerav David Greene mentored many Teach for America teachers. He knows how poorly prepared most of them were for the job of teaching in New York City’s toughest schools. He tried to help them cope. Here he offers good advice to TFA. Could This Be True? by dianerav Beware, this might be a hoax. I hope it is true. If it is true, please share at once with your legislators. Send it to Arne Duncan. Share it with corporate l... more »