Saturday, September 14, 2013

solidaridad: LA Schools Matter: Joining Forces for Education's statement on using Broad's Jaime Aquino's resignation to push for authentic reforms

solidaridad: LA Schools Matter: Joining Forces for Education's statement on using Broad's Jaime Aquino's resignation to push for authentic reforms:

LA Schools Matter: Joining Forces for Education's statement on using Broad's Jaime Aquino's resignation to push for authentic reforms

First published on LA Schools Matter on September 14, 2013

"Once Broad alumni are working inside the education system, they naturally favor hiring other Broadies, which ups the leverage…" —Sharon Higgins
Plutocrat Eli BroadWhile Los Angeles' corporate media bemoans scoundrel Jaime Aquino's resignation, replete with descriptions of tears from fellow Broadyte John Deasy, there are other voices that see the fall of one of Eli Broad's key chess pieces as an opportunity to demand genuine community input into the hiring of high level administrators running 333 S. Beaudry Avenue (aka Broad's Eastern Palace). Joining Forces for Education, an organization formed in response to Ben Austin and Parent Revolution's vicious attack on the former Weigand principal, issued a powerful statement and call to action today in response to Aquino's resignation.
I'm including the unedited letter from Joining Forces for Education in its entirety here. This needs to be disseminated far and wide. Their call not only for community participation, but for and end to Deasy's abject reign dovetails neatly with the LAUSDHope Campaign to remove Deasy and give the public authentic input into his successor.

Time is of the Essence to raise public voices in the choice of new senior LAUSD administrators.

With the resignation on Friday, Sept. 13.  of Asst. Supt of LAUSD, Jaime Aquino, we, the public, have an opportunity to influence the hiring of new administrators. 
Since Supt. Deasy will be evaluated by the Board at their next meeting, and his contract is in real jeopardy due to the iPad fiasco for which we California taxpayers will be on the hook for decades, possibly a search will be made for both a Supt, and an Asst. Supt.  There will be a closed meeting this Tuesday of the LAUSD School Board, at 200 S. Beaudry Street location.  Some people have asked me to announce that a community group is forming and will be on the sidewalk with signs and handouts.  Any readers here who are with media, please note this, and readers feel free to send this entire email to others.
1.  FACTS....
When Supt. Deasy was hired, we know there was no search and no competition. Eli Broad mandated to the Board that they hire Deasy, and they did and Aquino was their choice for second in 

Perdido Street School BREAKING NEWS: NY Post Launches Flying Monkey Sneak Attack Against Diane Ravitch In Review Of Her New Book

Perdido Street School: NY Post Launches Attack Against Diane Ravitch In Review Of Her New Book:

The Attacks Begin (click picture)


NY Post Launches Attack Against Diane Ravitch In Review Of Her New Book

There have been attacks against Diane Ravitch in the past, but the one by Kyle Smith in the Post is particularly vicious.

Ravitch has a new book out entitled “Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to Public Schools.”

Smith, in his review of the book, accuses Ravitch of making stuff up, ignoring scientific evidence, being a hair-shirt-wearing zealot, engaging in nepotism and taking bribes from the teachers unions.

It's a hit piece that uses harangue, invective and personal attacks to try and destroy her arguments that the education reform movement is actually a privatization movement.

Smith never really engages with her arguments, however.

In the book, which I just finished reading, Ravitch very carefully lays out the history of the education reform movement going back to "A Nation At Risk" and shows how the underlying linchpin to so much of the rhetoric, so many of the reforms, has been to undercut the public schools in people's minds and promote choice, vouchers, merit pay, online schools. Teach for America, and charters.

Ravitch then presents the problems with the reforms promoted by the corporate education reform movement, shows how they never have worked and presents real reforms that while costly and not 100% guaranteed (because nothing in life is 100% guaranteed), work in the places they are applied - early childhood education, schools with full and rich curricula, experienced teachers and school staff, rich full programs in the arts, fully-funded libraries, 

A Parent's Guide to Corporate Education Reform: Why Rich Guys are Screwing Up Our Public Schools

A Parent's Guide to Corporate Education Reform: Why Rich Guys are Screwing Up Our Public Schools



An incisive, comprehensive look at today’s American school system that argues against those who claim it is broken and beyond repair; an impassioned but reasoned call to stop the privatization movement that is draining students and funding from our public schools.

I Got Mine and I Can't Put It Down!

How to Get an Autographed Copy of “Reign of Error” | Diane Ravitch's blog
How to Get an Autographed Copy of “Reign of Error” | Diane Ravitch's blog: How to Get an Autographed Copy of “Reign of Error”If you would like to get an autographed copy of “Reign of Error,” you can order it through the Network for Public Education.If you want it to be personalized, with a greeting to you, you can order that too.All proceeds benefit the Network for Public Education. I am contribut

Here is a tentative list of some of Diane’s Reign of Error book tour dates.

Monday, September 16:
6:00 pm: Great Public Schools Pittsburgh at the Temple Sinai, 5505 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15217.

Tuesday, September 17:
7:30 pm: Philadelphia Free Library event in Montgomery Auditorium, 1901 Vine St. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19103.

Wednesday, September 25:
6:30 pm: North High School, 2960 N. Speer Blvd., Denver, CO 80211. (Co-sponsored by the Denver Classroom Teachers Association).

Thursday, September 26:
7:00 pm: University of Washington, location TBA

Friday, September 27:
6:30 pm: Memorial Auditorium, 1515 J St., Sacramento, CA 95814. (Co-sponsored by the Sacramento City Teachers Association).

Saturday, September 28:
7:00 pm:  Martin Luther King Middle School, 1781 Rose St., Berkeley. (Co-sponsored by KPFA, Berkeley Federation of Teachers, and Oakland Education Association).

Monday, September 30:
Schedule TBA

Tuesday, October 1:
7:00 pm: Occidental College, Thorne Hall, 1600 Campus Rd., Los Angeles, CA 90041.

Wednesday, October 2:
7:00 pm: College of Education at California State University, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge, CA 91330.

Tuesday, October 8:
7:30 pm: Brooklyn By the Book, Congregation Beth Elohim and Community Bookstore, 274 Garfield Place, Brooklyn, NY 11215. (Diane will be in conversation with David Denby of the New Yorker). 

Thursday, October 10:
7:30 pm: Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI 49855.

Tuesday, October 15:
6:30 pm: University of Rhode Island School of Education, Kingston, RI 02881.

Friday, October 18:
7:00 p.m. --     Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008.

Friday, November 1:
Schedule TBA

Monday, November 4:
8:00 pm: Princeton University
Schedule TBA

Wednesday, November 13:
7:30 pm: Women & Children First at First Free Church, 5255 N. Ashland Ave., Chicago, IL 60640.

Friday, November 22:
Schedule TBA

Friday, December 6
Schedule TBA

Please Note:  Other dates to be announced, details subject to change.  Details to be forthcoming as they become available.

THE PERIMETER PRIMATE: Update on Gulen charter schools

THE PERIMETER PRIMATE: Update on Gulen charter schools:

Update on Gulen charter schools

This page contains information about recently closed Gulen charter schools, newly opened Gulen charter schools, and known attempts to start schools that could open in 2014.

2013-2014: 147 in 26 states
2012-2013: 140 in 26 states (59,953 students)

Closed or control transferred to another entity at the end of 2012-2013 (five schools):

  • California (1): Pacific Technology School – Orangevale (closed)
  • Florida (2): Sweetwater Branch Academy and Sweetwater Branch Academy Elementary (closedbecause of poor school grades and financial trouble)
  • Maryland (1): Baltimore IT Academy (indicators that control has been transferred: staff now email instead of; website used to be but is now
  • Minnesota (1): Minnesota School of Science (closed)

School replaced (one school)

  • Arizona (1): Sonoran Science Academy – Peoria (17667 N 91st Ave., Peoria) has replaced Sonoran Science Academy – Phoenix Metro (2645 E. Osborn Rd., Phoenix) on the Sonoran Schools website. Webpage for SSA-Phoenix Metro redirects to SSA-Peoria, a new location 30 mi. away.

New schools (12 schools)

Florida (2)

John Thompson Reviews "Confessions of a Bad Teacher" - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher

John Thompson Reviews "Confessions of a Bad Teacher" - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher:

John Thompson Reviews "Confessions of a Bad Teacher"

Guest post by John Thompson.

Maybe this should go under the heading of confessions of a naïve teacher, but I still try to put myself in the shoes of Arne Duncan, his boss, Bill Gates, and others who seem to believe that value-added, as a part of a multiple measures, can be valid for teacher evaluations. Anyone who would believe such a thing might also believe the claims of New York City small schools' websites.
James Owens' Confessions of a Bad Teacher describes his year at a New York City small school, which earned a "B" on the district's report card. "Latinate," as he called it, had a six year old, full-color brochure with a zippy design. It claimed an accelerated college-prep curriculum, peer mentoring, tutoring, programs in technology, Art History, ethics/service learning, step/hip-hop and ballroom dancing, b-ball, tennis, fencing, filmmaking and chorus.
According to Owens, the only program that it retained was basketball.
Latinate was a small school that "co-located" in the same building with another small school referred to as the "blue school." Latinate spun itself as a school based on "non-negotiables." The principal, "Ms. P," believed that Latinate could take every kid who walked into the building, and by accepting "no excuses" it could bring them all to academic excellence. The "blue school" sought to offer a more well-rounded education, and its principal raised an additional $500,000 to fund programs that Latinate could not afford.
The damage done by false promises and inequitable spending became clear when Owens took 

Parents – Now, as the school year begins, is the time to protect our children from abuse. | Reclaim Reform

Parents – Now, as the school year begins, is the time to protect our children from abuse. | Reclaim Reform:

Parents – Now, as the school year begins, is the time to protect our children from abuse.

We parents protect our children against abuse from any source. Why should a flood of propaganda paid for by multinational mega-corporations stop us from protecting our children? We are the parents; we protect our children.
DeNiro and child YOU
As the school year begins, our children are again being abused by insane levels of high stakes testing. Are we parents willing to surrender our children’s childhoods in exchange for test scores? Tests are fine. Constant high stakes testing is destructive.
Why are our families subjected to this abuse? Senseless tasks? Arguments? Tears? Sense of failure and worthlessness? Days of stress and nights of nightmares?
Why tolerate this abuse? Well, we can stop this abuse.
United Opt-Out shows us how to stop the child exploitation and get positive results. We have the right to refuse high stakes testing of our children.
Click here to find out how to refuse testing and get positive educational results for our children in the early school years.
Click here to discover what we can do at any age level.
State by state guides are available here.
Click here to to learn how to get tough and stop the abusive threats from authoritarian figureheads who attempt push-back to our refusal.
Click here to understand that Common Core is corporate owned and controlled.
Click here for an entire packet of information that shows we know what we are doing. We 

MAP test company to debate MAP boycott teachers | I AM AN EDUCATOR

MAP test company to debate MAP boycott teachers | I AM AN EDUCATOR:

MAP test company to debate MAP boycott teachers

The NWEA, the producer of the MAP test, will be sending a representative to Seattle on Tuesday, September 17th to join a panel with two educators who have been leaders in the movement to boycott the MAP test in Seattle.  With a national movement developing last year to “Scrap The MAP” and replace it with authentic forms of assessment, the NWEA is feeling pressure to defend its deeply flawed assessment and protect its market share.  It is my hope that we will be able to get video of the event out to everyone who couldn’t make it so you too can witness the public dismantling of the standardized test pushers. I will be there front and center but I will be careful not to sit to close as the sparks might start flying.
ALL OUT for panel discussion/debate at Seattle’s Town Hall:

To Test or Not to Test: Standardized Testing in Our Public Schools.

Tuesday evening, September 17

The discussion happens upstairs in the Great Hall beginning at 7:30 p.m.
 In the wild wake of last spring’s successful boycott of the Measures of Academic Progress Test – “the Map Test” – by Seattle public school teachers, and now with school districts throughout the region continuing to insist that teacher evaluations be partially tied to student test scores, Town Hall Seattle presents a public forum on the topic: 
To Test or Not to Test: Standardized Testing in Our Public Schools.
Please join the discussion on Tuesday evening, September 17, when four panelists representing a spectrum of opinions will make arguments for or against standardized testing, and then take questions from the public (that would be you).
Find out where standardized tests came from – a sordid history  and where they might be headed. Who supports them, and why? What makes some so opposed to these “bubble” tests? What, if anything, do these “instruments” accurately measure? How do our children benefit from such evaluations? How do education “reformers” use standardized test results to replace public schools with for-profit charter schools? And could this happen here?
During this last school year, teachers from Seattle’s Garfield High School stood up to district managers and refused  without a single dissent among its faculty  to give their students the MAP test. Their boycott spread first to other schools in Seattle, and then quickly inspired teachers, parents and students across the country, and eventually across the globe, to take creative stands against the onslaught of standardized tests.
Nevertheless, the advocate of school “reform” continue to lobby for more bubble testing. Washington State spends more on such tests than any other state: $100 million annually. It seems clear the two sides are on a collision course. And the first of these face-to-face run-ins will be at Town Hall.
This event should be a Serious Intellectual Brawl. We need you there.
The panelists include:
• Jason Mendenhall, currently works for the Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA), the  Portland, Oregon, company that designs and sells the MAP Test. During his tenure at NWEA, Jason has been Director of Supplemental Educational Programs, Director of Product Strategy, and Director of Strategic Implementation. Jason has eight years experience as a secondary and post-secondary educator.
• Chris Eide, Executive Director of Teachers United, a collection of Washington teachers generally supportive of standardized testing and funded by a $650,00 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He has taught in Seattle Public Schools, as well as in New York City and Houston.
• Wayne Au, associate professor of education from the University of Washington and an editor of Rethinking Schools, a social-justice magazine and publisher steadfastly opposed to standardized testing, as well as to the current education “reform” movement that promotes such tests. Wayne is a leading expert on the subject of standardized testing and is the author of Unequal By Design: The Standardization of Inequality, Pencils Down: Rethinking High Stakes Testing and Accountability in Public Schools.
• Sandra Brettler, an award-winning, National Board-Certified teacher at Thornton Creek Elementary in northeast Seattle. She earned a Ph.D in neuroscience with a focus on understanding how the brain integrates information and encodes learning. Sandra boycotted the Map-test last year with her colleagues at Thornton Creek.  As an elementary school teacher, she will be asked by Seattle Public Schools to administer the exam to her students this year. (Only high-school students were exempted from giving the MAP test by the district, in response to the teacher-led boycott.)
• Dean Paton, Seattle correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor and a longtime education reporter, is host and moderator. As a young reporter, he also worked as the Associated Press boxing writer in Seattle, which may come in handy at this event.
Please forward this announcement to your friends, and then join us for this urgent public debate. Notch your calendar now.
Tickets are $5 at the door or $6.16 online, in advance, at the Town Hall website. Get more details about the event here as well:
The discussion happens upstairs in the Great Hall beginning at 7:30 p.m. and concludes by 9. Enter on 8th Avenue.
Town Hall’s address is 1119 8th Avenue at Seneca Street, Seattle, 98101. Telephone 206-652-4255. Metro’s Number 2 bus serves the hall directly.

UPDATE: Opt-Out/Refusal Guides for each State | United Opt Out National

Opt-Out/Refusal Guides for each State | United Opt Out National:

Portfolio Letter: Demand Authentic Assessment
Please  consider adding this portfolio letter to your opt out/refusal letter this year.  We are finding that report card grades for the 2013-2014 school year are increasingly based on corporate test scores. Student work is counting for less when determining … MORE


All documents are for informational purposes only and do not substitute as legal advice or legal counsel. The information contained in these documents and this website may or may not reflect the most current developments in education policy within our nation or within each state. Information shared here is not guaranteed to be correct or complete and UOO disclaims all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all contents of this website.


Good news: after sending an opt out letter (seen below) I received three letters back, from my high school student’s principal, math teacher and English teacher.
Each letter said that my child may take a paper-and-pencil alternative to the Common Core tests without any academic penalty. The school is apparently not enforcing the absurd current state law which states that schools must punish the student who opts out with a non-proficient score. Hooray!
I’m sharing this, so that anyone may create or adapt this letter for their use, if they like.
Dear Principal and Teachers,
Thank you for all you do for our kids. I sincerely appreciate your hard work, dedication and caring.
I am writing to let you know that ___________ my 11th grade child, will not be participating in the state’s new AIR/SAGE tests this year or next year. These are the Common Core aligned tests that feed into the federally funded State Longitudinal Database System and measure not only math and English, but also nonacademic, personal information including behavioral indicators (according to recent state law) and are to be used in grading schools.
I would like my child to have a pencil and paper alternative that is to be used ONLY at the school level, and not sent to the district or state levels.
I believe that this choice may be hurting this high school’s “school grade” so I apologize. It is not my wish to harm this excellent school in any way. I am also aware that it may hurt my child’s academic grade. Rather than getting an opt-out score, a non-test taker may get a non-proficient score. This is a tragedy for students and schools.
Our state leaders have created this situation that punishes schools and students when parents opt out of the tests.
(–You can quit reading here. But if you are interested in why I am writing this letter to opt my child out of the tests, please read on.)
Attached are PDF copies of the original bill SB175 and the amended bill put forth by the USOE at the Aug 2. meeting. On line 164 of the amended bill is what the USOE added. This is the part of the bill I find morally wrong.
164 (2) the parent makes a written request consistent with 165 LEA administrative timelines and procedures that the parent’s
166 student not be tested. Students not tested due to parent 167 request shall receive a non-proficient score which shall be
168 used in school accountability calculations.
A parent should be able to opt their child out of the invasive computer adaptive testing without the child receiving a non-proficient score, after that child has spent an entire year in school and has received grades for the work that could easily determine proficiency.
A single test should not determine the success of a child’s school year in one swoop, any more than it should determine the grade for that school for the year. There are too many variables to consider yet testing is the only criteria by which a school (or student?) will be seriously graded. I realize there are other minor components that will factor into the grading of a school, but the main emphasis will be on the test scores.
There are many things wrong in education not the least of which are laws that tighten control over our children while telling parents what’s good for them. I should not have to pull my children out of school in order to protect them from invasive and experimental testing.
1. The AIR/SAGE/Utah Common Core tests, which test math and English, are nontransparent and secretive.
2. I don’t believe in the Common Core standards upon which these tests are based. They are experimental. They snub classic literature. They dilute classical math. They were developed and copyrighted by two D.C. private clubs who have no accountability to me as a teacher or as a voter– (the NGA and CCSSO). They give power to a centralized system that is contrary to the constitutional concept of separating powers and empowering local control.
3. The tests feed the national data collection beast via the 50 nationally interoperable State Longitudinal Database Systems (SLDS), feed the P-20 child tracking/surveillance program, and will gather nonacademic, private information on students, including “behavioral indicators” according to Utah state law HB5.
4. It’s nobody’s business, even in Utah, how my individual child does in math and English –except the teacher’s business, and mine. My child’s not to be counted as the government’s “human capital” and the government’s not an invited “stakeholder” in my child’s education, career, or life. Too bad for Governor Herbert’s darling, Prosperity 2020! Remember this: business leaders, governments and legislatures don’t have authority to use tests and data collection to snoop on any child (or adult) for “collective economic prosperity” or for any other reason.
5. Overemphasis on high-stakes testing hurts kids and wastes instructional time.
6. Overemphasis on high-stakes testing hurts teachers. They will be controlled by how students do on the tests; this limits teachers’ autonomy in the classroom and is an insult to teachers’ professional judgment.

DELAWARE TOWNSHIP — While his eighth-grade classmates took state standardized tests this spring, Tucker Richardson woke up late and played basketball in his Delaware Township driveway.
Tucker's parents, Wendy and Will, are part of a small but growing number of parents nationwide who are ensuring their children do not participate in standardized testing. They are opposed to the practice for myriad reasons, including the stress they believe it brings on young students, discomfort with tests being used to gauge teacher performance, fear that corporate influence is overriding education and concern that test prep is narrowing curricula down to the minimum needed to pass an exam.
"I'm just opposed to the way high-stakes testing is being used to evaluate teachers, the way it's being used to define what's happening in classrooms," said Will Richardson, an educational consultant and former teacher. "These tests are not meant to evaluate teachers. They're meant to find out what kids know."
The opt-out movement, as it is called, is small but growing. It has been brewing for several years via word of mouth and social media, especially through Facebook. The "Long Island opt-out info" Facebook page has more than 9,200 members, many of them rallying at a Port Jefferson Station, N.Y., high school last month after a group of principals called this year's state tests — and their low scores — a "debacle."
In Washington. D.C., a group of parents and students protested outside the Department of Education. Students and teachers at a Seattle high school boycotted a standardized test,
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