Friday, April 25, 2014

4-25-14 LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all

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

News Flash from L.A.: Science Teacher Suspended for Teaching Science Now Back in Classroom
Strange things happen in Los Angeles. Maybe all that nonstop good weather rattles people. High school science teacher Greg Schiller was suspended after an administrator concluded that science projects made by two of his students were dangerous. Schiller has now been allowed to return to his classroom. “Both projects overseen by teacher Greg Schiller were capable of launching small objects. A st

Breaking News: Colorado Teachers Force Union to Join Fight Against High-Stakes Testing!
This just in: Dear Colleagues: I write to you specifically to inform you of recent action taken at the Colorado Education Association’s delegate assembly. This past Tuesday, April 22nd, Pat Kennedy and I met here at my office at UNC to discuss what had recently transpired at the Colorado Education Association’s delegate assembly held earlier this month. The CEA adopted a new business item which r

North Carolina May Drop Common Core
The North Carolina legislature is deciding whether to back out of the Common Core standards. As a critic of the Common Core, I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, I would be pleased to see a state that won Race to the Top funding telling Arne Duncan “No, thanks,” we don’t take orders from you. On the other, the North Carolina legislature is so extremist and so hostile to public educatio
CNN’s “Chicagoland” Was Fake Documentary, An Infomercial to Glorify Rahm
Bill Ruthhart, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, reviewed hundreds of emails about CNN’s “Chicagoland” and discovered that the “documentary” was an infomercial for controversial Mayor Rahm Emanuel. CNN honored him at the very time that he took the historically unprecedented step of closing 50 public schools. CNN has no shame. He writes: “If it seemed as though some scenes of CNN’s documentary
Milwaukee: Why Corporate Takeovers Make No Sense
The previous post reviewed the past history of Milwaukee. You might be tempted to skip past the report by Gordon Lafer on charters that is embedded in the press release. So I urge you to read the full (and short) report on why Milwaukee does not need more charter schools.   Lafer writes:   Upon examination, it appears that charter privatization proposals are driven more by financial and ideologica

EPI: Corporate Takeover of Milwaukee Public Schools Makes No Sense
Poor Milwaukee. It has a thriving voucher sector. It has a thriving charter sector. It has a struggling public sector, overloaded with the children with disabilities and the others that the two private sectors don’t want.   Yet neither the voucher schools nor the charter schools get better test scores, and the higher graduation rate of the voucher schools relies on an extraordinary attrition rate

Obama and Duncan Plan to Control Teacher Institutions with Their Failed Ideas
With the Obama administration’s latest policy pronouncement, the federal grip on American education grows tighter and stupider every day. The latest: the administration plans to reward the best teacher-training institutions and drive the “worst” ones out of business. This is like Race to the Top for teacher preparation programs. What are their measures? Of course, student test scores loom large.

Randi to Pearson: Remove the Gag Order and Test Secrecy
Randi Weingarten, on behalf of the American Federation of Teachers, sent representatives to the Pearson shareholders’ meeting in London and wrote the following letter to the leaders of the world’s biggest testing corporation. By shrouding the tests in secrecy, Pearson denies information to teachers to help diagnose student needs. The tests become useless by having no diagnostic value. Speculation

Chris Rekydal of Washington State: A Hero of American Education
Washington State thoughtfully rejected Arne Duncan’s threat to cancel its waiver from the absurd demands of No Child Left Behind. The decision to say no to federal demands and intimidation was bipartisan. The Legislature refused to bend to Duncan’s insistence that the state adopt test-based evaluation, which has consistently failed across the nation and has been declared inaccurate by the nation’

Gary Rubinstein: Did Arne Duncan Find a Miracle School in Denver?
Gary Rubinstein is quite the sleuth when anyone makes a claim about educational results that seem too good to be true.   A few years ago, he helped me pin down some whoppers when Secretary Arne Duncan, President Obama, and then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg claimed they discovered miracle schools that had a 100% graduation rate, or miraculous score gains, or some other incredible statistic. His research
A Hero Superintendent in Oklahoma Defies the State, Exempts Two Students from Tests
Donna Dudley, superintendent of Moyers public schools in Oklahoma, made a conscious decision to defy the state.   It should not have been an extraordinary decision because it was what a decent human being would do.   Two of her students suffered a terrible loss the weekend before the state tests. Their parents were killed in a car crash.   Superintendent Dudley asked the state for permission to ex
Bob Sikes: The Voucher Hypocrisy of Republicans in Florida
Republicans have been pushing vouchers in Florida, despite the fact that voters turned them down in 2012 by a decisive margin. Republicans have been calling for STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) at the same time that they want children to go to school where creationism is taught as science. Republicans claim they want more accountability but schools receiving vouch
Alexandra Miletta: edTPA: Good Thing or Bad Thing? Part 1
A few years ago, the Powers-That-Be decided that the biggest problem in American education was the teachers. McKinsey said that other nations attracted the top performing graduates of the most prestigious universities into teaching, while our own sorry teachers came from the bottom of the barrel. In the hunt for perpetrators of what was wrongly assumed to be a national education disaster (after al
4-24-14 LISTEN TO DIANE RAVITCH Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all
Diane Ravitch's blog | A site to discuss better education for all: Teacher to David Coleman: Yes, What Children Think and Feel Does MatterVeteran teacher Eileen Riley Hall has some advice for David Coleman, architect of the Common Core standards. Coleman famously said, in taped remarks at the New York State Education Department, that   “As you grow up in this world, you realize people really don’t