Latest News and Comment from Education

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The College Board: Inept at Accommodating Injured Students | deutsch29

The College Board: Inept at Accommodating Injured Students | deutsch29:

The College Board: Inept at Accommodating Injured Students

The following is a guest post by New York student, Avery Kim, who is battling not only the consequences associated with suffering her third concussion but also the testing nonprofit, the College Board, over its apparent unwillingness/inability to modify its policies to accommodate students suffering injury in the days prior to being scheduled to sit for a College Board test.
Avery Kim  Avery Kim
Avery Kim, 16, lives in New York City and is a filmmaker, photographer, writer, and multi-first place award winning Model UN delegate. Her passion is investigative journalism and documentary film with the goal of informing, transforming, and calling communities to action through moving images and words. Avery has published articles in the Brooklyn Technical High School newspaper, The Survey, and also helped launch a new online magazine — The Uncommon Magazine.
Avery intends to pursue docu-journalism and political science in college and to continue producing multimedia journalism that engages, educates, and changes the world. She will transform your world through engaging storytelling and her vivid creativity will bring real world issues to you in meaningful ways.
The College Board: a Monopoly Without Accountability
by Avery Kim
Many schools, including the one I attend, offer only the College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) options for many courses in the sciences and math. These not only restrict teachers to focusing on test material and rushed lesson plans, but they also stifle the teacher’s ability to engage in meaningful class discussion, simply because that will not be tested. It becomes a mechanical process of checking boxes off of the “Curriculum Framework.” Our teachers were trained to do so much more. Throughout the last two years of being in AP classes, I have repetitively heard the phrase, “I would love to go into this more, but we need to stay on schedule for the test.” Fortunately, my teachers have found ways to weave in everything from looking at Marxism in a positive light to learning about the “Forgotten War” because the Korean War was more than just a single bullet point on the College Board’s list; our class is lucky enough to know that this war should not be buried beneath other 
The College Board: Inept at Accommodating Injured Students | deutsch29:

Drop The Hate (A Word On The Orlando Massacre) [#NotOneMore] | The Jose Vilson

Drop The Hate (A Word On The Orlando Massacre) [#NotOneMore] | The Jose Vilson:

Drop The Hate (A Word On The Orlando Massacre) [#NotOneMore]

photo c/o
I’m not at a loss for words.
I’m at a loss for the right words.
I’m looking for words that might heal. I’m looking for more than a proclamation, more than#NotOneMore. I want to be told that our elected officials will do more than just pray. I want to let these perfect words embrace my mind and heart. I then want to express these words to the 145 students I’m seeing tomorrow, all of whom have seen massacres happen across the country with little to no action.
I want to embrace my son tightly because he’s too young to completely get my anguish.
In many ways, adults like me would be best to keep our mouth shut. We haven’t revolted enough to make the world a better place for our children. We adults hope the best for our youth to solve the world’s problems because we are absolutely inadequate individually and, perhaps, collectively.
Some might say we are fortunate to not live in a country where such murders are a daily occurrence, but even one dead is one too many. I will never be sensitized. I never feel fortunate until we eliminate such violence here and abroad.
In times like these, I listen to W. Leo Daniels’ words, courtesy of Fatboy Slim’s “Drop The Hate.” Observe:Drop The Hate (A Word On The Orlando Massacre) [#NotOneMore] | The Jose Vilson:

Schooling in the Ownership Society: What is the BIA and what the hell are they doing in Uganda?

Schooling in the Ownership Society: What is the BIA and what the hell are they doing in Uganda?:

What is the BIA and what the hell are they doing in Uganda?

Shannon May
Some might see it as the great white hope coming to save and fix the poor in Africa. I see it as cultural imperialism -- taking the worst aspects of American corporate-style school reform and spreading, with the might and power of power-philanthropy and the World Bank, to countries that can least afford to resist.

Bridge International Academies (BIA) is a for-profit organization active in privatizing public education in several African countries including Liberia, Kenya and Uganda. They have already built 412 for-profit schools in Kenya in six years. BIA co-founders, Shannon May and her husband, JayKimmelman, have raised more than $100 million from Bill GatesMark Zuckerberg, and the  Omidyar Network (eBay founder Pierre Omidyar) to push their "Education in a Box" model in Africa.

According to the Washington Post:

BIA — which is supported by the World Bank; Pearson, the world’s largest for-profit education company; and billionaire education philanthropists Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, among others — operates a chain of for-profit schools in a few African countries, Schooling in the Ownership Society: What is the BIA and what the hell are they doing in Uganda?:

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Thinking of the City of Orlando and Their Terrible Grief

Seattle Schools Community Forum: Thinking of the City of Orlando and Their Terrible Grief:

Thinking of the City of Orlando and Their Terrible Grief

What words do we have left in our venacular for what we as Americans have learned to tolerate?

So first, prayers, sympathies, hope for the survivors - all these to the families and friends of those killed in Orlando in last night's largest American mass shooting.

It's interesting because I had just seen a town hall with President Obama where an older gentleman asked him why he wanted to take "our guns."  The President said he didn't and, in fact, had never once in his presidency, suggested this.  He said what he did want to do is be able to not allow people on the federal watchlist for terrorism to not be able to legally get a gun.

I don't know if the shooter this time was on that list but he had been questioned, twice, by the FBI because of things he had said to others.

Update: here's a map of massing shootings since Newtown from Vox.  Pretty crowded. 

So what will it take for change?

 Clearly not a mass shooting at an elementary school.  When that happened in Scotland in the early '90s , they tightened up the gun law and the United Kingdom has not seen a mass shooting since.

Clearly not a mass shooting at a service base (see Fort Hood which, before last 
Seattle Schools Community Forum: Thinking of the City of Orlando and Their Terrible Grief:

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Mega-edu-bloggo-reading

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Mega-edu-bloggo-reading:

ICYMI: Mega-edu-bloggo-reading

The Economist Gets Everything Wrong
One of the peculiar side features of the reformster movement has been the elevation of economists to expert status on the subject of education. This makes precisely as much sense as the White House calling me to hear my advice on How To Fix the Economy, and yet it keeps happening-- almost as if reformsters are more interested in the economic benefits of ed reform than any educational ones.So when

I have a ton of stuff for you this week. Enjoy.

Former SAT Official Blows the Whistle 

Yeah, you probably caught this story this week, but since every single person in the world should see it, I'll put it here just in case. Here's Mercedes Schneider's look at the former College Board official who is blowing the whistle on just how big a sham the new SAT is.  

High Standard

A great, simple, direct statement about what's wrong with the reading standard that some states like New York have chosen to build ELA around. 

When Success Leads To Failure

In the Atlantic, Jessica Lahey (the Gift of Failure writer) talks about the negative effects of the pressure to succeed.

Equality of Opportunity

You may or may not agree with this piece, but you'll be better for figuring out why you do or don't. A hard look at why equality of opportunity may not be a good idea for anybody.

When the Neighborhood Gentrifies and the School Doesn't

From Slate and Jessica Huseman, a look at what happened in one gentrified Portland neighborhood that pushed out the residents, but left the school.

Only 2% of Teachers Are Black and Male: Here's How We Might Fix That

One of the largest problems in education today-- a teaching pool that is mostly white and female. Here's what they're doing in Pittsburgh to try to address that issue. 

Mr. Lemov Meet Madeline Hunter and Many Others Who Discovered the Same Things and Gave Credit Where Credit Was Due

Well, the title doesn't leave much to wonder about. If you are tired of Mr. Teach Like a Champion, here's a great explanation of why you are right to be annoyed. 

The Horror of Charter School Finance

One more explanation of how charter schools are gutting public education

Third Way in Education Not the Answer

One more writer figures out that the Third Way is just the same old way-- the way private interests try to raid the piles of money tied up in public ed

Choosing a School for my Daughter in a Segregated City

You probably saw this already-- folks on all sides of the ed debates were passing it around this week. Brings some of the issues in education right down to the human level.

CPS Newly Posted Job Executive Director of Personalized Learning Comes with a Dire Warning

Looks like Chicago is next to jump on the personalized- competency based education bandwagon. That's terrible news for Chicago. 
CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Mega-edu-bloggo-reading:

Pat Kelly & Thought Leadering
Thanks to reader Robert D. Skeels. This is just too fun not to pass along.
PA: New Face for Old Pearson Scam
If you are in Pennsylvania, you may have been seeing advertising for Commonwealth Charter Academy. CCA avoids calling itself a cyber-anything, but it is in fact one more cyber charter littering the Pennsylvania landscape. As with many schools pushing the tech solution to education issues, it leans heavily on "personalized learning" and markets itself as a family approach. That seems to b

JUN 10

Thought Leader Duncan Has Another New Job
Arne Duncan continues to build that resume. He was already signed on with Emerson Collective, the philanthropic mish-mash of Steve Jobs widow; in that position, he is poised to work on the youth unemployment problems of Chicago.Now comes word that Duncan has joined the board of directors for Pluralsign.If you aren't a tech professional, you may not recognize Pluralsign's name, but they've been in
Common Core Standards (Still) Don't Cut It
Every few years the ACT folks unleash a big ole survey to find out what's actually going on Out There in the world of school stuff. This year's survey drew at least 2,000 respondents each from elementary and secondary schools, as well as college and workplace respondents. The whole package is eighty-eight pages, and I've read it, and while you don't have to, you might still want to. There are seve
Chester Finn's Charter Market Worries
Chester Finn, honcho emeritus of the right-tilted Fordham Institute, was back on the Fordham blog this week to continue his charter school series with a look at what he thinks are three "market malfunctions in the charter sector." Man, I just love the word "sector"- it sounds so clean and neat, not like marketplace or business. Honey, I'm going to get a tub of popcorn in the sn
The SAT-- Worse Than You Think
Folks have been questioning the accuracy, validity and usefulness of the SAT for decades, and the chorus of criticism only increased when College Board, the test manufacturing company responsible for the SAT, brought in Common Core architect David Coleman to take over. Coleman's fast and ugly rewrite of the venerable test was intended to bring it in line with the K-12 standards of Common Core. Col

JUN 09

Back to the Children's Table
Do you remember?It was going to be our year. Education-- the issue, the American institution, the highly contested battleground of policy, politics, and pedagogy-- was going to be on the front burner. Presidential politics would be the Big Event, and education was going to be seated at the Big Table.Lots of folks thought so. Jeb! Bush had spent ages first fine-tuning his education organization as
TX: Yet Another Testing Screw-up
The Texas version of the Big Standardized Test is called the STAAR, which could stand for Some Tests Are Always Ridiculous or maybe Should Throw Away Any Results or even Stupid Tests' Asses Are Raggedy.This year's STAAR season has been a parade of blunders and clusterfahrfegnugen. There were plenty of reasons not to like the test to begin with (here's a good list of just ten such reasons). But onc
The GOP Education Vision
Earlier this week, House Republicans released a... well, a thing. A reporty kind of thing, straight from the House GOP "Task Force" on Poverty, Opportunity and Upward Mobility. There's a website that goes with it, and the language there is pretty blunt and direct:Our nation is on the wrong path. We can complain about it, but that won't help things. To get America back on track, we have t

JUN 08

MA: Boston Schools Remain Opaque
Massachusetts has just a wacky dynamic in the education biz. Their governor is a reformster, their secretary of education is a reformster, and the mayor of Boston is a reformster. Various swarms of reformsters have come to the commonwealth, presumably attracted by tasty clam chowder and the smell of money. And yet the citizens of Massachusetts, many of whom still have vivid memories of when the st
Icahn: A Better Charter?
I've taken a few (hundred) shots at charter schools on this blog, but I've always tried to be clear-- I believe it is possible to do charter schools right, to create a charter school that is not a fraud-running, student-abusing, system-gutting, money-grubbing scam, but which actually serves the needs of students and community and is grounded in actually educating students.With that in mind, I've b
The Left and Right of Ed Reform
Robert Pondiscio triggered a reformy tempest almost two weeks ago when he wrote that the Left was in danger of pushing conservatives out of the ed reform movement. The reformy blogoverse and twitterverse have not shut up about it since, with responses ranging from the sympathetic to... well, less so (Best title: "Audacity of Nope"). A large portion of the education post stable has taken

JUN 07

Maybe Old Teachers Don't Suck
A repeated refrain among some reformsters is that we need to get rid of tenure, job protections, and seniority rules for teachers because the system is clogged with washed-up uncaring has-beens and when budgets are slashed and staffing is cut, it's the hot young rock stars of education that are thrown out on the street (oddly enough, their concern over this issue never translates into calls to kno

JUN 06

One of the dreams of ed reform has been to come up with a system that is teacher-proof, a program or script or curriculum that works exactly the same way no matter what carbon-based life form you have propped up in front of the classroom.Systems are particularly appealing as a method of controlling "bad" actors, with "bad" defined as "does not do what I want them to do.&qu
Remedial Baloney
When arguing about college readiness, reformsters like to point to the number of college freshmen placed in remedial courses are proof that high schools aren't rigorous enough with coursework, aren't honest enough with grades, and aren't standardized enough with curriculum.There are problems with that. First of all, we keep using the words "college ready" as if we know what that means. W