Latest News and Comment from Education

Friday, July 1, 2016

LMAO – Charter school front group hires “Tactics Manager” - Wait What?

LMAO – Charter school front group hires “Tactics Manager” - Wait What?:

LMAO – Charter school front group hires “Tactics Manager”

Families for Excellent Schools, the corporate funded, New York based charter school lobby group, with chapters in Connecticut and Massachusetts, is looking for a manager of tactics.
A Manager of Tactics?
Not just any Manager of Tactics.  They are hiring a National Director of Tactics…
Perhaps they find their calling in the words of Sun Tzu, who wrote about tactics in his epic entitled, The Art of War;
All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.” –  Sun TzuThe Art of War
So it is that the billionaire funded Families for Excellent Schools has posted a job listing searching for a National Manager of Tactics.
What an incredible and disturbing commentary about the charter school industry and its corporate education reform allies.
According to the FES job posting, the pro-charter schools, anti-public education, anti-LMAO – Charter school front group hires “Tactics Manager” - Wait What?:

Save Our Schools: See You in DC July 8-9! - Living in Dialogue

Save Our Schools: See You in DC July 8-9! - Living in Dialogue:

Save Our Schools: See You in DC July 8-9!

One week from today, on Friday, July 8, I will join thousands of activists from around the nation at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, to once again raise our voices for meaningful changes in our schools at a protest organized by the Save Our Schools Coalition. We will hear from Reverend Barber, from Diane Ravitch, Jonathan Kozol, Tanaisa Brown, Barbara Madeloni, Jtiu Brown and many more. We will march in the streets with these demands:
  • Full, equitable funding for all public schools
  • Safe, racially just schools and communities
  • Community leadership in public school policies
  • Professional, diverse educators for all students
  • Child-centered, culturally appropriate curriculum for all
  • No high-stakes standardized testing
I was one of those who helped organize the 2011 Save Our Schools march in DC, which raised similar issues in the first national protest against phony education reforms. These events are built by creating a broad coalition that include activist groups and teacher unions. Right now, thousands of teachers are headed to DC to take part in the NEA’s rep assembly, which will wrap up next Thursday. Many will stay an extra day to join in the SOS Coalition event.
For some reason, a couple of bloggers have decided to attack this event and its organizer, on very flimsy grounds. The thrust of the attack is that since the SOS Coalition is providing funding to pay for buses to bring parents, students and community activists to DC who could not otherwise afford to make the trip, and this costs money, that the project must be getting some heavy subsidy from nefarious teacher unions – and thus the protest will be some sort of pep rally for Hillary Clinton.
For the record, the buses are being provided at the direct request of organizers with the Journey for Justice, which organizes communities of color to support democratic control of public schools.  The funds raised for these scholarships have come from individuals, locals and state teacher organizations and the coalition partners like NPE, BATS, SOS  as well as fundraising webinars with Jonathan Kozol and Diane Ravitch. I have donated several times myself, because I strongly believe that we need to build solidarity with the people most affected by corporate reform, and one concrete way to do this is to support their active participation in protests and conferences such as this. Funds are still being raised to pay for these buses. If you would like tojoin me in donating, please go here. These travel funds have not come from the teacher unions.
In 2011, the SOS March was primarily supported by grassroots donations, but did receive some financial support from the AFT and NEA. This support did not prevent us from being able to deliver a strong message of protest against Obama administration policies. This year, the amount of financial support provided by teacher unions has been significantly less, although both the NEA and AFT have helped publicize the events and encouraged members to attend. These are coalition events that require everyone to come together around a shared vision. That is how we brought people together in 2011, and it is how we did it this year as well.
Creating events like this requires us to build alliances and cooperate. I do not agree with everything that NEA or AFT leaders do, and have certainly made that clear over the past few years. But I value the capacity of these organizations to bring together educators, and appreciate the chance to work with them whenever possible.
Criticisms were also leveled at Bob George, as they were a few years ago. I have worked closely with Bob over the past six years, and if he is in pursuit of wealth, he has chosen a very strange path. Bob works hard, and brings people together without making a big deal out of himself. He is the real deal. He cares very deeply about social justice and has worked to make this year’s event much more diverse and representative of those most affected by corporate reform than the one five years ago.
One of the things I appreciate about being in a broad movement is the chance to hear perspectives from diverse points of view. In some gatherings I am among the more radical people in the room. In others, I am more in the center, politically speaking. If we constantly focus on our differences, then we can do very little beyond pontificate from our separate soapboxes about what is wrong about those we differ with. This gets us nowhere. How much more lively and rich it is when we bring together people from different walks of life, with different viewpoints from our own! In this case, the SOS Coalition is bringing together a range of activists and organizations, to rally around a strong stand for public schools. I look forward to seeing lots of friends, and making some new ones as well. I hope you can join us – and if you can’t, pitch in a few bucks so someone else can make the journey.
Save Our Schools: See You in DC July 8-9! - Living in Dialogue:

SBE Agenda for July 2016 - State Board of Education (CA Dept of Education)

SBE Agenda for July 2016 - State Board of Education (CA Dept of Education):

SBE Agenda for July 2016

Agenda for the California State Board of Education (SBE) meeting on July 13-14, 2016.

Schedule of MeetingLocation
Wednesday, July 13, 2016 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time ±
Public Session. Public Session, adjourn to Closed Session – IF NECESSARY.
California Department of Education 1430 N Street, Room 1101 
Sacramento, California 95814 
Please see the detailed agenda for more information about the items to be considered and acted upon. The public is welcome.
Schedule of MeetingLocation
Thursday, July 14, 20168:30 a.m. Pacific Time ±
The Closed Session will take place at approximately 8:30a.m. (The Public may not attend.)
California Department of Education1430 N Street, Room 1101
Sacramento, California 95814
The Closed Session (1) may commence earlier than 8:30 a.m.; (2) may begin at 8:30a.m., be recessed, and then be reconvened later in the day; or (3) may commence later than 8:30 a.m.


Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation: Under Government Code sections 11126(e)(1) and (e)(2)(A), the State Board of Education hereby provides public notice that some or all of the pending litigation follows will be considered and acted upon in closed session:
  • California School Boards Association, et al. v. California State Board of Educationand Aspire Public Schools, Inc.,Alameda County Superior Court, Case No. 07353566, CA Ct. of Appeal, 1st Dist., Case No. A122485, CA Supreme Court, Case No. S186129
  • Cruz et al. v. State of California, State Board of Education, State Department of Education, Tom Torlakson et al.,Alameda County Superior Court, Case No. RG14727139
  • D.J. et al. v. State of California, California Department of Education, Tom Torlakson, the State Board of Education, Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. BS142775,CA Ct. of Appeal, 2nd Dist., Case No. B260075 and related complaint from the U.S. Department of Justice
  • Emma al. v. Delaine Eastin, et al., USDC (No.Dist.CA), Case No. C-96-4179
  • Options for Youth, Burbank, Inc., San Gabriel, Inc. Upland, Inc. and Victor Valley, Notice of Appeal Before the Education Audit Appeals Panel, EAAP Case Nos. 06-18, 06-19- 07-07, 07-08 OAH Nos. L2006100966, L2006110025, L20070706022, L2007060728, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Case No. BC 347454
  • Peoples v. State of California, State Board of Education,Los Angeles County Superior Court, Case No. BC618619
  • Reed v. State of California, Los Angeles Unified School District, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jack O’Connell, California Department of Education,and State Board of Education, et al., Los Angeles County Superior Court, Case No. BC432420, CA Ct. of Appeal, 2nd Dist., Case No. B230817, CA Supreme Ct., Case No. 5191256
  • Valenzuela v. Tom Torlakson, the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education, Alameda County Superior Court, Case No. RG16805941
  • Vergara et al. v. State of California, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Tom Torlakson, the California Department of Education, the State Board of Education,Los Angeles County Superior Court, Case No. BC484642, CA Ct. of Appeal 2nd Dist., Case No. B253282, B253310
Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipated Litigation: Under Government Code sections 11126(e), the State Board of Education hereby provides public notice that it may meet in Closed Session to decide whether there is a significant exposure to litigation, and to consider and act in connection with matters for which there is a significant exposure to litigation. Under Government Code sections 11126(e)(1) and (e)(2), the State Board of Education hereby provides public notice that it may meet in Closed Session to decide to initiate litigation and to consider and act in connection with litigation it has decided to initiate.
Under Government Code Section 11126(c)(14), the State Board of Education hereby provides public notice that it may meet in Closed Session to review and discuss the actual content of pupil achievement tests (including, but not limited to, the High School Exit Exam) that have been submitted for State Board approval and/or approved by the State Board.
Time is set aside for individuals desiring to speak on any topic not otherwise on the agenda. Please see the detailed agenda for the Public Session. In all cases, the presiding officer reserves the right to impose time limits on presentations as may be necessary to ensure that the agenda is completed.
Pursuant to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, any individual with a disability or any other individual who requires reasonable accommodation to attend or participate in a meeting or function of the California State Board of Education (SBE), may request assistance by contacting the SBE office at 1430 N Street, Room 5111, Sacramento, CA 95814; by telephone at 916 319-0827; or by facsimile at 916 319-0175.


Public Session Day 1

Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Wednesday, July 13, 2016 – 8:30 a.m. Pacific Time ±
California Department of Education
1430 N Street, Room 1101
Sacramento, California 95814

Not how smart you are but, how are you smart? | Johnathan Chase | LinkedIn

Not how smart you are but, how are you smart? | Johnathan Chase | LinkedIn:

Not how smart you are but, how are you smart?


“Kids make their mark in life by doing what they can do, not what they can’t… School is important, but life is more important. Being happy is using your skills productively, no matter what they are.”

~ Howard Gardner 

Learning is about discovering your purpose and passion in life. Schools should provide diverse academic pathways and vocational opportunities for students to explore and unleash their specialized skills and abilities…not standardize them.
It is far more important that all students are free to learn in school and well educated, than subjecting them to continuous testing to determine if they have been educated well.
Testing and training students to sort and compare how well they meet common standards does not ensure student "readiness" or prepare them for the diverse social, emotional, and vocational challenges of uncommon careers.
“The second concern is justifying the Common Core on the highly dubious notion that college and career skills are the same. On its face, the idea is absurd. After all, do chefs, policemen, welders, hotel managers, professional baseball players and health technicians all require college skills for their careers? 
Do college students all require learning occupational skills in a wide array of careers? In making the “same skills” claim, proponents are really saying that Not how smart you are but, how are you smart? | Johnathan Chase | LinkedIn:

Gov. Chris Christie smacks New Jersey public schools — right where it hurts - The Washington Post

Gov. Chris Christie smacks New Jersey public schools — right where it hurts - The Washington Post:

Gov. Chris Christie smacks New Jersey public schools — right where it hurts

On March 14, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gives a thumbs up as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie waves to the crowd as they walk off the stage after a rally at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, N.C.  (Chuck Burton/AP)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie just slapped public schools in his state right where it hurts: funding.
As Christie spends time advising presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump — and apparently, turning up on  Trump’s  list of vice presidential candidates — he continues governing New Jersey (with approval ratings at an all-time low). And in that role, he just proposed a new public school funding system that he calls the “Fairness Formula.” But critics say that it is actually wildly unfair to students and taxpayers.
School funding is a central issue in public education (but one that corporate school reformers, unfortunately, have systemically ignored while favoring controversial standardized test-based accountability systems and school choice). The public education system in the United States relies heavily on property taxes, so wealthier districts obviously have more to spend. Though there is federal funding that is aimed at bridging the gap, it doesn’t. Nor does private philanthropy.
recent report issued by the Education Law Center in New Jersey, using 2013 U.S. Census data (the most recent available), found that public school funding in most states is inequitable. Among the findings:
  • Funding levels show wide disparities among states, ranging from a high of $17,331 per pupil in Alaska, to a low of $5,746 in Idaho.
  • Many of the states with the lowest funding levels, such as California, Idaho, Nevada, North Carolina and Texas, invest a very low percentage of state economic capacity in funding public education.
  • Fourteen states, including Pennsylvania, North Dakota and Illinois, are regressive, providing less funding to school districts with higher concentrations of low-income students.
  • Certain regions of the country exhibit a double disadvantage — many states with low funding overall add no additional funds for concentrated student poverty. These include Gov. Chris Christie smacks New Jersey public schools — right where it hurts - The Washington Post:

CURMUDGUCATION: Teach for Privatization in India

CURMUDGUCATION: Teach for Privatization in India:
Teach for Privatization in India

If you ever wanted to see how the pieces of the privatization movement in ed reform fir together (though nobody really wants to see that any more than they want to get a close look at road kill or watch video of an operation on their own pancreas), then I have the article for you.

The Nation has a new piece by George Joseph looking at the spread of the spread of Teach for America's operating philosophy into India. This is apparently a different group than Teach for All, Teach for America's own multinational brand. But the founder of TFI met with Wendy Kopp and McKinsey consulting, so it's not exactly a completely independent entity, either.

India's education system is one of the most grossly underfunded systems in the world. Even though they are booming economically, Joseph reports that the most they have ever spent on education is just 4.4% of their GDP (and that peak came sixteen years ago). In 2013-2014, the country had over half a million vacant teaching positions. Only one in five teachers working had ever received in-service training. Half of all schools could not meet the requirement of no more than thirty students to a classroom. And over 91,000 schools had only one teacher.

But TFI features the same old TFA theory of change, which Joseph has summed up as clearly as anyone I've ever read:

 By promising innovative classroom techniques and inspirational leadership, the Teach for All model seeks to transform tremendous material deficits into a problem of character.

His article repeatedly cites individuals who say that India's schools do not need more money, but basically just need somebody smart to whip these kids into shape. Meanwhile, the TFI board includes guys like Ashish Dhawan, an exceptionally wealthy guy who has thrown his money and power behind successful efforts to have public schools simply turned over to private businesses to operate (and profit from).

Against that background of spreading privatization of education, TFI is very clearly not meant to 
CURMUDGUCATION: Teach for Privatization in India:

Today is My Birthday! Guess What I Want? | Diane Ravitch's blog

Today is My Birthday! Guess What I Want? | Diane Ravitch's blog:

Today is My Birthday! Guess What I Want? 

Dear Friends,
Today is my birthday. I am 78 years old. I was born at 12:05 a.m. in St. Joseph’s Hospital in Houston, Texas, to Walter and Ann Silvers. I was their third child. Five more would follow. Eventually we were five boys and three girls. My dad was born in Savannah and dropped out of high school. My mother was born in Bessarabia, came to the U.S. at age 9, and graduated from the Houston public schools, one of the proudest achievements of her life. She prided herself on her perfect English. She was an American and a Texan.
I went to the Houston public schools from kindergarten to high school graduation. None of the schools I attended still exists, at least not in the same form. I went to Montrose Elementary School (now the Houston High School of the Performing Arts), then my family moved to another part of Houston and I enrolled in fifth grade in Sutton Elementary School (not sure if it still exists). I went to the neighborhood junior high school, Albert Sidney Johnston Jr. High, named for a Confederate hero. Then to San Jacinto High School (now Houston Community College). I may have had a few great teachers. Mostly I had pretty good teachers or good teachers, who worked very hard to do their best. I don’t remember any “bad” teachers. The Houston public schools were segregated during my time there (I graduated in 1956). I thought that was wrong, I read about the Brown decision, and I spoke to our high school principal, Mr. Brandenburg about it. I asked him why we didn’t obey the court. He sympathized but said that if the schools desegregated, a lot of good black principals and teachers would lose their jobs. There was also the matter of the school board, which changed every two years; every other election produced a board dominated by Minute Women and John Birchers who thought the UN was a Communist organization and such groups as the NAACP and Urban League were pinkos. They totally opposed any desegregation.
My Houston public education was good enough to get me admitted to a wonderful Ivy League college: Wellesley. I was friends with Nora Ephron, later a celebrated screenwriter, and Madeline Korbel (later Albright); we worked on the college newspaper together. Class of 1960, nine years before Hillary graduated.
Many decades have passed. Now the body is giving out; the knees don’t work well. One was totally replaced, the other probably should have been. But mentally, I feel like 35 or 40.
For my daily efforts, blogging and writing, at no pay, I am regularly called a “shill” for the unions, they say I sold my soul for “union gold.” Ha! It happened this week on Twitter. This is nonsense. I am 78 years old, and I do and say what I believe. My views are the product of a lifetime of experience and study. No one can buy me. I don’t want a job, a grant, or money. The only good thing about growing old is that your ambitions are put into check. There is nothing that I want of a material nature. I have noticed that the folks in the corporate reform movement seem to think that everyone has a price, everyone is motivated by greed. I am not. I am financially independent. I am free to say what I want. And I do.
I won’t ramble on, but I want to ask you a favor. Since 2010, I have devoted my waking hours to fighting privatization and defending public schools, their students, and their teachers.
If you want to do something for me other than say “happy birthday” (which is also nice), please join and/or make a gift of any size to theNetwork for Public Education or the NPE Action Fund, which engages in political action. I co-founded these groups with Anthony Cody, and we hope NPE will be the meeting place for all those who are sick of attacks on public schools and teachers, for all those who want to sing the praises of a great democratic public education system that is required by law to provide equal opportunity for all students. We want a transformation, not the status quo. We want great schools for every child, not just for the few. And we won’t tolerate the naysayers who pick on the people, institutions, and values we hold dear.
And if you have the time and resources to join me, come to Washington on Friday, July 8, for the Save Our Schools March. Walk arm in arm with your friends and allies.
Together we will prevail. I will use my energy to make that happen, to win over public opinion. I can’t do it without you. That’s my goal for my next birthday.
Today is My Birthday! Guess What I Want? | Diane Ravitch's blog:

It’s Like Invisible Drones Following Students in School

It’s Like Invisible Drones Following Students in School:

It’s Like Invisible Drones Following Students in School

A drone equiped with four rotors and a camera is flying and taking pictures

Trustworthy Computing is the highest priority for all the work we are doing. We must lead the industry to a whole new level of Trustworthiness in computing.
Happy 4th of July! This is a good time to think about freedom and privacy issues for children in our schools. Let me begin with a little story.
Recently I visited the beach. There is nothing like walking next to the ocean. Sandpipers scurried by as I stopped to look for shark teeth and weird things in the sand. I was alone and in my zone.
Suddenly, I heard buzzing. I looked up. There, hovering right over my head was a small drone!
I strolled back towards the hotel trying to ignore it. I have seen people operating drones before, but on this day, as I scanned the sand dunes, I could find no one. It followed me until I reached my destination then it took off probably to irritate someone else.
So what does my example of uninvited intrusion into one’s life have to do with public It’s Like Invisible Drones Following Students in School:

WTU Headquarters On The Auction Block: Union Prez Liz Davis Doesn't Pay Property Tax! The Washington Teacher

The Washington Teacher:

WTU Headquarters On The Auction Block: Union Prez Liz Davis Doesn't Pay Property Tax!

June 30th is the last official day of WTU Prez Davis' constitutional term. Malcolm Barnes explores this unfortunate scandal in the article below. What remains ahead is anybody's guess especially with Davis obstructing WTU elections from moving forward. Ballots are due by July 8. If you didn't receive one- please email JWRIGHT@WTULOCAL6.NET  It's imperative that you vote. Peterson slate is #1 on the ballot...Candi Peterson

By Malcolm Lewis Barnes

The Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) Pennsylvania Avenue headquarters building owes over $24,000 in unpaid back real estate taxes and is on the Monday, July 18th Tax Sale schedule, which could result in the forced sale of the building at worst, and the union being hit with thousands of dollars of legal fees to fight off a tax lien sale.

A current Real Property Tax Property summary of Square 1019S, Lot 0040 reveals that the WTU has a total of $46,648.35 in unpaid taxes over the period from 2013 to the first half of tax year 2016. During President Liz Davis tenure and Treasurer Diane Terrell, the WTU racked up over $10,000 in penalties and interest in every year but 2014, and as recently as the first half 2016 bill for $19,199.93 the union incurred $1,919.93 or ten percent in penalties and an additional $863.90 in interest charges.
The $24,365.55 that caused the WTU to be placed on the Tax Sale list was the result of 2013 through 2015 delinquent taxes that the union failed to pay during the first two-and-a-half years of President Davis’ three year term. Ironically President Davis is the incumbent candidate for reelection under the “Responsible Leadership Team: Integrity, Experience & Experience” and this level of financial malfeasance and neglect is likely to result in an immediate investigation of why the union did not require the real estate taxes to be escrowed after a series of multi-million dollar loans were acquired from M&T Bank and Amalgamated Bank of Chicago.

In the opinion of former WTU General Counsel Johnnie Landon, who served under George Parker until 2010 and was later dismissed by former WTU President Nathan Saunders, "The former Presidents' of WTU should have never executed loan documents without it first undergoing a legal sufficiency review. Whoever was advising them at the time of the building acquisition as a bare minimum should have set up an escrow account."

As the former general counsel under WTU President George Parker, attorney Landon has history with the WTU’s plans to purchase a property and was assigned to investigate the acquisition of an inexpensive The Washington Teacher:

Mexico’s Classroom Wars | Jacobin

Mexico’s Classroom Wars | Jacobin:

Mexico’s Classroom Wars

Striking Mexican teachers are fighting for justice in the classroom — and against Mexico’s violent neoliberal order.

2006–2016. Street graffiti in Oaxaca City, commemorating the ongoing teachers’ struggle. Shane Dillingham / Jacobin
2006–2016. Street graffiti in Oaxaca City, commemorating the ongoing teachers’ struggle. Shane Dillingham / Jacobin
Our new issue, “Between the Risings,” is out now. To celebrate its release, international subscriptions are $25 off, and limited prints of our Easter 1916 cover are available.
Ten years ago, as a group of striking teachers slept in their encampment during the early hours of June 14 in the state capital of Oaxaca, Mexico, government forces launched an attack to remove them from thezócalo, or town square. Riot police cleared the plaza while helicopters dropped tear gas from above.
The striking teachers were beaten, arrested, and pushed out of the city center. But not for long; the teachers and their supporters quickly regrouped, fighting back, block by block, and took the plaza back by midday.
The violent repression of striking teachers in 2006, ordered by the state governor, launched a social movement — called the “Oaxaca Commune” by supporters — that grew to encompass much more than the local teachers’ union.
The movement mobilized large swathes of Oaxacan society against the repressive governor. Aggressive federal intervention hobbled the movement, but failed to wipe it out. Today the dissident teachers’ movement is in the streets again, this time in opposition to the federal government’s “education reform” program.
The teacher’s movement is also more widespread than in 2006. Militarized attacks on striking teachers have occurred in Mexico City and throughout the country’s southern states. In the last month, the state of Chiapas has seen pitched battles between teachers and police forces, and the Zapatistas have spoken out in favor of the striking teachers.
Last week the Mexican attorney general’s office arrested two of the leaders of the Oaxacan section of the teachers’ union, Local 22, on corruption charges. Then on June 19, federal and state police attacked protesters in Nochixtlán, Oaxaca, a town on the highway between the state capital and Mexico City, resulting in the death of at least eight protesters.
The blatant attack on outspoken government opponents unleashed a Mexico’s Classroom Wars | Jacobin:

The Bipolar Literature on Technology in U.S. Schools | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

The Bipolar Literature on Technology in U.S. Schools | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

The Bipolar Literature on Technology in U.S. Schools

Reform-minded researchers, techno-enthusiasts, and skeptics in the U.S. have created an immense, convoluted literature on the use and effectiveness of computers in classroom, schools, and districts. It is a literature that is bipolar.
At one end there is the fiercely manic accumulation of success stories of teachers and schools that use devices imaginatively and, according to some researchers, demonstrate small to moderate gains in test scores, increased student engagement, teacher satisfaction, and other desired outcomes (see here andhere). These success stories, often teacher surveys and self-reports, clothed as scientific studies (see here and here) beat the drum directly or hum the tune just loud enough for others to hear that these new technologies, especially if they are student-centered (see here) and “personalize learning” (see here), are just short of magical in their engaging disengaged children and youth in learning.
At the other end is the depressing collection of studies that show disappointing results, even losses, in academic achievement and the lack of substantial change in teaching methods during and after use of the new technologies (see here andhere). Included are tales told by upset teachers, irritated parents, and disillusioned school board members who authorized technological expenditures (see herehere, and here).
These two poles of manic and depressive research studies replicate the long-term struggle between factions of Progressives who vowed to reform public schools beginning in the early 20th century. The efficiency-driven, teacher-centered wing of these Progressives whipped the experiential, whole-child, student-centered wing then but these losers in the struggle have returned time and again to preach and teach the ideology they hold so dear. Each pole of this spectrum, then, recapitulates the century-old struggle but this time the slogans and phrases are embedded in the language of new technologies. “Project-based learning” and “personalized learning” have been appropriated by current reformers who, still seeking efficiency and productivity in teaching and learning have adopted the language of their historical opponents. Knowing this historical backdrop, however, does not create a middle to this continuum. And that is necessary.
Reducing modestly the bipolarity of this literature are individual and collective case studies (see here), carefully done ethnographies (see here), and meta-The Bipolar Literature on Technology in U.S. Schools | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

Successful Completion of CAASPP Testing - Year 2016 (CA Dept of Education)

Successful Completion of CAASPP Testing - Year 2016 (CA Dept of Education):

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Marks Successful Completion of CAASPP Testing

SACRAMENTO— Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today announced that more than 3.2 million students have completed the California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP), the state's computer-based, online assessments given in grades three through eight and eleven.
The total number of students taking part in summative Smarter Balanced assessments in English language arts/literacy and mathematics has already set state records, with 350,606 students testing simultaneously on May 3 alone. A small number of school districts, however, will continue to conduct testing through July.
"Measuring the academic progress of more than 3 million students in 10,000 schools with one common yardstick is a daunting challenge, but our teachers, principals, administrators, and school employees rose to meet it," Torlakson said. "Their hard work—and the California Department of Education staff —will help schools improve teaching and learning and in turn, help more students graduate ready for college and 21st century careers."
The smooth second operational year of CAASPP allowed individual districts and schools to access online results within three weeks of testing—much earlier than last year. Statewide and other aggregate results will be tabulated and released around the end of August.
"These tests were created specifically to gauge each student's performance as they develop—grade by grade—the skills called for by the state's more rigorous academic standards, including the ability to write clearly, think critically, and solve problems," Torlakson said. "No single assessment can provide teachers with all the feedback they need to tailor instruction to meet the needs of their students, but CAASPP represents an important indicator of progress toward career and college readiness."
Still, Torlakson noted that assessments are sources of information—not an end in themselves. As such, CDE is working with teachers, parents, and others to provide and improve educational tools to help schools analyze test results and other measures of student performance to improve instruction and learning.
Along with optional interim tests and a digital library of resources for educators to use throughout the year, CDE has created new Assessment Target Reports, which allow teachers to understand the relative strengths and weaknesses of groups of students within specific parts of a tested subject by grade level.
In addition, CDE is collaborating with teachers and the non-profit research organization WestEd to develop teacher guides for the Smarter Balanced Assessments.
CDE also held a series of professional development sessions to assist districts with test administration and planning. Educational Testing Service, which administers CAASPP on the state's behalf, held post-test workshops around the state focusing on options for incorporating assessment results into ongoing efforts to improve learning and student achievement.
CDE has also taken steps to provide parents with better information about test results, including revising individual student score reports to make them more reader-friendly and developing External link opens in new window or tab. , a new Web site with detailed information about state assessments.
California moved to new, online, computer-adaptive assessments last year based on more rigorous academic standards, part of a comprehensive plan to give every student the opportunity to graduate ready for college and to pursue a career.
# # # #
Tom Torlakson — State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5206, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100
Successful Completion of CAASPP Testing - Year 2016 (CA Dept of Education):