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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Educational Malpractice – The Child Manufacturing Process | Creative by Nature

Educational Malpractice – The Child Manufacturing Process | Creative by Nature:

Educational Malpractice – The Child Manufacturing Process

“Asking kids to meet target on standardized tests is like making them meet a sales quota. Our kids are not commodities.” ~K.L. Nielson 

In many nations around the world there is a struggle currently going on between two very different paradigms for educating children. The dominant system has been in place for over a hundred years. It is sometimes called the “factory model.” This is where schools are set up to administer “essential knowledge” to large batches of same-age children simultaneously. After instruction has been completed the children are tested, to see how much of the knowledge they were able to understand and remember.
This system is based on the way factories and scientific experiments were designed at the beginning of the last century. While on the surface this approach seems to be about transmitting “knowledge” to children there is also an unspoken “hidden curriculum” being taught. As John Taylor Gatto has written, such schooling teaches youth to obey authority, to comply with instructions, to be willing to engage in difficult activities that often seem meaningless, and to accept that society is comprised of people with different levels of talent and social status.
Over the last decades, research in education and child development indicates that the factory model is based on several faulty assumptions. It assumes that learning can be measured by standardized tests, and that all children will learn at the same rate and in the same manner. This is just not true. The fact that children learn best when something is meaningful, enjoyable and interesting for them is ignored. The importance of learning in groups and from slightly older children is also not considered relevant.
As Ken Robinson has described in his TED talk “Changing Education Paradigms“ (with over 12 million views) the industrial model of education is a form of social engineering that Educational Malpractice – The Child Manufacturing Process | Creative by Nature:

Nowhere to Hide: “The Elephant in the [class]room” - Living in Dialogue

Nowhere to Hide: “The Elephant in the [class]room” - Living in Dialogue:

Nowhere to Hide: “The Elephant in the [class]room” 

 By Daun Kauffman.

Trauma during development, or childhood trauma, changes brain architecture and ability to learn and social behavior.  It impacts two out of three children at some level, but I didn’t even know what it was…
Childhood Trauma, or adverse childhood experiences(ACEs)can be defined as a response of overwhelming, helpless fear to a painful or shocking event.
ACEs include physical, emotional and sexual abuse, physical and emotional neglect, a missing parent (due to separation, divorce, incarceration, death), witnessing household substance abuse, violence, or mental illness and more.
The children are not sick or “bad”. Childhood trauma is an injury.  It happens TO the child.  In turn, when they become adults, many re-enact their unaddressed trauma, injuring the next generation in a merciless cycle of pain and fear. When the injuries fester unaddressed, they set off a chain of events leading ultimately to early death, according to the CDC.
Childhood trauma changes the physical architecture of a developing child’s brain
Part 1:  The structural changes to the brain impair academic efforts.  They damage children’s memory systems, their ability to think, to organize multiple priorities  (“executive function”), and hence to learn, particularly literacy skills
Part 2: The changed neurobiology predisposes hypervigilance, leading trauma-impacted children to often misread social cues.  Their fears and distorted perceptions generate surprising aggressive, defensive behaviors.  The ‘hair trigger’ defenses are often set off by deep memories outside of explicit consciousness.
Adults’ view, from the ‘outside’, of the seemingly illogical, or worse, oppositional behavior, is one of shock, Nowhere to Hide: “The Elephant in the [class]room” - Living in Dialogue:

Mike Pence believes in creationism, and he wants to teach that to your kids in public schools – DeadState

Mike Pence believes in creationism, and he wants to teach that to your kids in public schools – DeadState:

Mike Pence believes in creationism, and he wants to teach that to your kids in public schools

8/6/16, 8:32 pm PST: Some elements of this article along with the title have been updated to more accurately reflect the facts as we know them.
There’s something about Donald Trump’s running mate that seems to have escaped the media narrative: he’s a radical Christian whose belief in “intelligent design” suggests he likely subscribes to the notion of a biblical young earth (around 6,000 years-old according to some, while others will allow for 10,000 years. Other believers in intelligent design will avoid the question of the earth/universe’s age altogether), and he wants this form of religious charlatanry taught in public schools.
Mike Pence‘s belief in a young earth isn’t proven, but his rhetoric is designed to pander to those who do.
When he was confronted on the subject by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews back in 2009, Pence did everything he could to avoid acknowledging the scientific fact of evolution. It was a pathetic display of pandering to the anti-science religious voter.
But during his tenure as a U.S. Congressman, Pence wasn’t so evasive.
During an impassioned speech on the House floor in 2002, Pence regurgitated the ignorant ‘evolution is only a theory’ theme, and declared that “intelligent design” should be taught to children as a scientific alternative with equal weight.
“I believe that God created the known universe, the earth and everything in it, including man,” Pence said. “And I also believe that someday scientists will come to see that only the theory of intelligent design provides even a remotely rational explanation for the known universe.”
“I would simply and humbly ask, can we teach it as such and can we also consider teaching other theories of the origin of species?” Pence continued. “Like the theory that was believed in by every signer of the Declaration of Independence. Every signer of the Declaration of Independence believed that men and women were created and were endowed by that same Creator with certain unalienable rights. The Bible tells us that God created man in his own image, male and female. He created them.”
Writing for PatheosMichael Stone points out that Pence’s false and misleading claim that creationism is a valid scientific alternative to the theory of evolution is a tactic widely used by evangelicals to undermine the way science is taught in the public school system.
Pence, like many advocates for creationism, is uninformed and uneducated as to what the term “theory” means in a scientific context. For the record, the scientific definition of “theory” is quite different from the everyday use of the word.
As the National Academy of Science notes, the “formal scientific definition of theory is quite different from the everyday meaning of the word. It refers to a comprehensive explanation of some aspect of nature that is supported by a vast body of evidence.
Say what you want about either of the candidates in the 2016 race for president. But it’s undeniable that a religious extremist with dreams of theocracy is near the top of one of the tickets.
 Mike Pence believes in creationism, and he wants to teach that to your kids in public schools – DeadState:

Big Education Ape: Mike Pence's education record - Business Insider -

CURMUDGUCATION: MI: Charter Demonstrates Need for Tenure + Big Money Loses, But Doesn't Give Up

CURMUDGUCATION: MI: Charter Demonstrates Need for Tenure:

MI: Charter Demonstrates Need for Tenure

Big Education Ape: State of Michigan Failing Charter Schools: One Year Later Nothing Has Changed -

Charters are fond of at-will staffing, where all teachers may be hired or fired at any time, for any reason. Sort of the exact opposite of tenure or due process. Here's a story out of Detroit of just how bad that can be-- not just for teachers, but for students and community.

Michigan has been a playland for charters. There are well over 300 charter schools operating in Michigan (the number varies a bit depending on who's counting). The vast majority are for-profit, and almost none have organized teacher unions.

Universal Academy is located in Detroit, and as reported by the Detroit Metro Times, their problems began with Etab Ahmed, a Yemeni immigrant. Ahmed, age twenty, was called into the office and encouraged to sign a paper. She thought it was about graduating, and it was-- sort of. She had written and signed, as coached by the principal, the following:

"I am Etab Ahmed want to finish the high school through GED. And do not want to continue at Universal Academy - Etab Ahmed 11/10/15"

As soon as she returned to her classroom, she asked the teacher, Asil Yassine, what a GED was, and was shattered to discover she had just signed away her dream of a high school diploma.

But Ahmed was twenty, which meant that Universal Academy had gotten as much money as they ever could out of her enrollment.

Yassine, a second-year teacher, decided to follow up.

"I am struggling to understand how this incredibly bright, hard-working student who fully deserves a 
CURMUDGUCATION: MI: Charter Demonstrates Need for Tenure:

CURMUDGUCATION: Big Money Loses, But Doesn't Give Up:

Big Money Loses, But Doesn't Give Up

This story has been covered extensively, but it's one of those stories that needs to be covered extensively, so if this post seems a little redundant, that's okay. As teachers and marketers both learn, if you really wnat a message to get through, repetition is key.

In Tennessee, Stand for Children and other outside pro-reform charter-pushing groups sank about three quarters of a million dollars in attempts to buy themselves more compliant school boards, with the main push landing on the Nashville board race.

It was ugly. Mailers defaming candidates. Apush poll insinuating that one candidate defended child molesters and pornographers. Newspapers throwing their weight behind the reformsters.

And standing against them, a completely disorganized array of moms and dads. No spokesperson, no point person, no strategy meetings-- just a whole bunch of people pissed off that outsiders were coming in to try to buy an election as a way to buy themselves a slice of the education biz, a sweet shot at charter money.

You can read newspaper accounts of the aftermath here and here. And for a local close up summary of the whole sorry mess, I recommend this account from Dad Gone Wild.

The events of Nashville are worth paying attention to because this is the way the game is now played. Reformsters sink big money into local races all across the country. Setting state and federal policy is hard and expensive, but making sure that you have board members or other officials in 
CURMUDGUCATION: Big Money Loses, But Doesn't Give Up:

All Things Education: It's not the science that is junk, it's the measures, Part II

All Things Education: It's not the science that is junk, it's the measures, Part II:

It's not the science that is junk, it's the measures, Part II

So a day or so after my last post, It's not the science that is junk, it's the measures, I came across this interview of Jesse Rothstein by Rachel Cohen in the American Prospect. There's lots of good stuff in there and it's worth reading. I don't mean to take away from the import of Jesse Rothstein's work (I am a big fan of his work and of Rachel Cohen's work) but a piece of it kind of demonstrates what I was trying to get at in my last post.

Talking about VAM, Rothstein said,

It’s very controversial and I’ve argued that one of the flaws of it is that even though VAM shows the average growth of a teacher’s student, that’s not the same thing as showing a teacher’s effect, because teachers teach very different groups of students. 
If I’m a teacher who is known to be really good with students with attention-deficit disorder, and all those kids get put in my class, they don’t, on average, gain as much as other students, and I look less effective. But that might be because I was systematically given the kids who wouldn’t gain very much.
So, yes, this is a very good point: there is a difference between showing "the growth of a teacher's student" and "showing a teacher's effect."  And yes, according to test scores, and how well students perform on them, teachers can look more effective or less effective, regardless of how good they are at teaching.

The he says, when she asks if he is skeptical of VAM,

I think the metrics are not as good as the plaintiffs made them out to be. There are bias issues, among others. One big issue is that evaluating teachers based on value-added encourages teachers to teach to the state test. 
During the Vergara trials you testified against some of Harvard economist Raj Chetty's VAM research, and the two of you have been going back and forth ever All Things Education: It's not the science that is junk, it's the measures, Part II:




 By Doug Martin, author of Hoosier School Heist

(Come see Doug Martin speak at Indy’ s Kheprw Institute on August 20 from 3-5pm)

Glenda Ritz’s opponent for Indiana state school superintendentJennifer McCormick, is rolling around in corporate education reform money. 

The Hoosiers for Quality Education (HQE), the pro-school privatization group I detail in my book Hoosier School Heist, on Friday handed McCormick $20,000.  This brings the PAC’s total to McCormick, so far, at$30,000.

Fred Klipsch, another star in Hoosier School Heist and one of the biggest funders of HQE, slid McCormick$10,000 at the end of May.  
McCormick has also received $75,000 recently from the Tony Bennett charter school scandal’s Christel DeHaan. 
David Harris, from the Mind Trust, gave McCormick $250 (page 6). 

Deborah Daniels, Mitch’s sister, also gave $250 (page 7).

Former state ed. board member Daniel Elsener has spared $1,000 (page 9) so far. 

Charter honcho John Bryan, a huge player in my book, donated $2,500 (page 11). 

These are only recent contributions.  More from other corporate school folks have slipped in earlier, and there’s much more to come, I guarantee.  Schools Matter: JENNIFER MCCORMICK’S RECENT FUNDERS:

As the author of  Hoosier School Heist,  Doug Martin’s research has been used by or referenced in Salon, Alternet, the Washington Post, the Associated Press, PBS, and newspapers and radio shows across Indiana and America.  His newest book project deals with Big Pharma, Big Medicine, the Cancer Industry, hospital fraud, and nursing home and health care corruption in Indiana.

Hoosier School Heist TV is Doug Martin's channel featuring videos of his book tour across Indiana speaking on the corporate takeover of public education. Order Hoosier School Heist at
Follow Hoosier School Heist on Facebook:
Tweet with Doug Martin at:



ICYMI Hooray for August

Plenty of goodies for you this week. 

Snuffing Out Democracy

Out in Seattle, the battle is on over mayoral control, because if the school board won't follow the policies you want them to, can't you just get rid of the whole elected mess? 

Bless Your Heart, Stand for Children

Dad Gone Wild provides a good summary of what happened in Tennessee and how Nashville thoroughly humiliated outsiders trying to buy a school board.

The Ambitious Education Plan of the Black Lives Matter Movement

Black Lives Matter has spoken out on education. It's a bold plan, and well worth a look.

Policy Can Foster Positive Relationships

Wendy Lecker looks at the ways in which policy can improve student relationships. Guess what-- guidance counselors are actually money-savers!

Slay the Monster

Kathleen Dudden Rowlands at NCTE with a practical, research-based take-down of the five paragraph essay, plus a look at what to replace it with. Must-read for teachers of writing.

Ten Non-Standard Ideas about Going Back to School

Nancy Flanagan with ten great ideas for approaching the start of another year. Not the same ideas they taught you in teacher school

Foundations Unfiltered

Edushyster gets some straight inside poop from the world of philanthropists.

NY State Test Result Shenanigans

Leonie Haimson has, as usual, been playing close attention while the state of New York has been [playing games with test result data. This link will take you to some great information as well as links to even more.

The Band of Florida's Education System

You'll never guess what Florida's education honcho Kim Stewart thinks is the bane of education. Books. Seriously. Here's an excellent rebuttal at Accountabaloney.

America Desperately Needs To Redefine College and Career Ready

From Market Watch, of all places, a call to prepare students for a life, and let the rest take care of itself.

How Compliance Hurts All Learning

Short but sweet.

Decenter Yourself

Jose Vilson with a reminder of how-- and why-- to take yourself out of the center of your classroom. And a critical question-- are we change agents, or agents of the state? A good high note on which to finish the reading list for the week.

Big Education Ape: Catch up with CURMUDGUCATION: Data-Driven Racism -

America’s Not-So-Broken Education System (Jack Schneider) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

America’s Not-So-Broken Education System (Jack Schneider) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

America’s Not-So-Broken Education System (Jack Schneider)

Jack Schneider is an assistant professor of education at the College of the Holy Cross. He is the author of From the Ivory Tower to the Schoolhouse and Excellence For All. This appeared in The Atlantic Online June 22, 2016.
Everything in American education is broken. Or so say the policy elites, from the online learning pioneer Sal Khan to the journalist-turned-reformer Campbell Brown. As leaders of the XQ project succinctly put it, we need to “scrap the blueprint and revolutionize this dangerously broken system.”
This, they explain, is the sad truth. The educational system simply stopped working. It aged, declined, and broke. And now the nation has a mess on its hands. But there’s good news, too. As Michelle Rhee’s group, StudentsFirst, declares: Americans can “work together to fix this broken system.” All it takes is the courage to rip it apart.
This is how the argument goes, again and again. The system used to work, but now it doesn’t. And though nobody inside schools seems to care, innovators outside the establishment have developed some simple solutions. The system can be rebuilt, reformers argue. But first it must be torn down.
American education has some obvious shortcomings. Even defenders of the schools can make long lists of things they’d like to change. But the root of the problem is not incompetent design, as is so frequently alleged. Nor is it stasis. Rather, it is the twofold challenge of complexity and scale. American schools are charged with the task of creating better human beings. And they are expected to do so in a relatively consistent way for all of young people. It is perhaps the nation’s most ambitious collective project; as such, it advances slowly.
For evidence of this, one need look only to the past. If the educational system had broken at some point, a look backward would reveal an end to progress—a point at which the system stopped working. Yet that isn’t at all the picture that emerges. Instead, one can see that across many generations, the schools have slowly and steadily improved.
Consider the teachers in classrooms. For most of American history, teachers received no training at all, and hiring was a chaotic process in which the only America’s Not-So-Broken Education System (Jack Schneider) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice:

Introducing Bill Honig’s Challenge to “Test and Punish”: | deutsch29

Introducing Bill Honig’s Challenge to “Test and Punish”: | deutsch29:

Introducing Bill Honig’s Challenge to “Test and Punish”:

bill honig
Bill Honig

This post features the education website,, which is the creation of California teacher/administrator, Bill Honig. 

Bill Honig has been a practicing educator for more than 45 years. Originally trained as an attorney, he discovered his true passion was in elementary education. Honig has taught in the inner-city schools of San Francisco, served as a local superintendent in Marin County, and was appointed to the State Board of Education by California governor Jerry Brown during his first term.
In 1983, Honig was elected California state superintendent of public instruction, a position he held for 10 years. In 1995, he jointly founded the Consortium on Reaching Excellence (CORE), which has worked with teachers and coaches in reading and math nationwide for the past 20 years.
Currently, Honig serves as Vice-Chair of the California Instructional Quality Commission, which develops curricular frameworks and reviews educational resources for the State Board of Education. He continues to collaborate with researchers, thought leaders, and practitioners to implement evidence-based approaches that offer an alternative to conventional educational reform.
I asked Honig to introduce his website to my readers. Here is his response:
A great debate has been raging in this country about the best way to improve our schools. As each state and district grapples with the polemics of school reform, this is the opportune time to engage in a thoughtful discussion focused on successful practices and empirical evidence.
I recently created a website,, designed to present the research and experience supporting the “build and support” approach, gathered from our best researchers, bloggers, and practitioners, and show why the more extreme measures of the “test and punish” strategies haven’t worked. It has 16 short articles (for a list see below) about the major issues in the debate including a piece about our experience in California and is designed for educational and political policy makers and members of the media.
My goal is to help educators and parents understand how a build-and-support approach enables schools, districts, states, and nations to achieve extraordinary results. I especially want to assist governors, mayors, legislators, and their staffs who wish to resist or reverse the disappointing 
Introducing Bill Honig’s Challenge to “Test and Punish”: | deutsch29:

DE PTA: Get Back On The Opt Out Bus! If NY PTA Can Do This, You Should Too! – Exceptional Delaware

Hey Terri & Yvonne! DE PTA Needs To Get Back On The Opt Out Bus! If NY PTA Can Do This, You Should Too! – Exceptional Delaware:
Hey Terri & Yvonne! DE PTA Needs To Get Back On The Opt Out Bus! If NY PTA Can Do This, You Should Too!

As part of the Every Student Succeeds Act, the United States Department of Education is required to issue regulations associated with the new law.  Of course U.S. Secretary of Education John King saw this as his big chance to make his national mark for his corporate education reform buddies, so he stuck with the accountability script and harsh rules about opt out of high-stakes tests.  The New York Parent Teacher Organization wrote a letter to King as part of their public comment for the regulations.
Something to keep in mind is the National PTA’s bizarre stance on parent opt out.  They are against it and don’t want the state PTA’s advocating it either.  Last February, they threatened Delaware with severe sanctions if they continue to advocate for a parent’s right to opt out.  This caused a complete shutdown with Delaware PTA on the issue.
Here is the letter the NY PTA sent to King:

There are a few other things readers need to be aware of when it comes to this issue.  Sanctions against the NY PTA would not be as damaging as ones against Delaware PTA.  If even ten percent of NY parents belong to their PTA, that is still at least ten times the amount of members as Delaware PTA.  Which means Hey Terri & Yvonne! DE PTA Needs To Get Back On The Opt Out Bus! If NY PTA Can Do This, You Should Too! – Exceptional Delaware:

Nashville Says “Bless Your Heart” To Stand For Children « Dad Gone Wild

Nashville Says “Bless Your Heart” To Stand For Children « Dad Gone Wild:

Nashville Says “Bless Your Heart” To Stand For Children


The last couple weeks, I have done a lot of soul searching. I’ll be honest, I’m often filled with self-doubt. The role of public education advocate is such an odd one. There is no money in it. It’s time consuming. I’m not a teacher, and therefore don’t have that experience or knowledge base to draw on. You never know if you are really making any kind of difference at all. Often times you feel like you are walking out into your backyard and screaming into the void while the neighbors snicker at you. “There’s crazy Uncle TC railing against the privatization of public education again. Does he have his tin hat on tonight?” But then there are nights – like this year’s school board election night – that change everything.
This summer, Nashville has been embroiled in a bitter school board race that lined up the charter school supporters against the incumbent board members who are skeptical of charters. Five seats on the MNPS school board were up for grabs, with incumbents – and ardent public school supporters – in four of them. But District 5 was up for grabs because incumbent Elissa Kim chose not to run again. Two main candidates quickly emerged, with Miranda Christy falling into the charter supporter camp and Christiane Buggs more closely aligned with the incumbents running for re-election. Adding fuel to the fire was national education reform advocacy group Stand For Children, who flooded the race with cash.
The race this summer was absolutely insane. Like you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up insane. You had SFC flooding people’s mailboxes  daily with opposition fliers, some even arriving the dayNashville Says “Bless Your Heart” To Stand For Children « Dad Gone Wild: 

Hogan calls teachers union officials ‘thugs’ on Facebook - The Washington Post

Hogan calls teachers union officials ‘thugs’ on Facebook - The Washington Post:
Hogan calls teachers union officials ‘thugs’ on Facebook

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) called them “thugs.”
And now members of the state teachers union are comparing Hogan to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R).
Hogan used the controversial word on his Facebook page to describe teachers union officials who disagreed with a recent budget decision he made to save, rather than spend, some funds.
We provided record funding two years in a row and protected your pensions,” Hogan said in a reply to a post on his page. “Don’t believe this phony ‘cut’ propaganda from the union thugs.”
Doug Mayer, a spokesman for the governor, said it was “preposterous” to compare Hogan to Trump.
Mayer said the word was directed at the “paid political operatives and lobbyists” of the teachers union who have “waged a full-time campaign dedicated to misinforming Marylanders about Governor Hogan’s record of historic funding in K-12 education.”
Mayer continued: “The governor has great love and respect for Maryland’s hard-working teachers and all the things they do for our students.”
Hogan was defending a decision he made last week not to spend money the legislature has set aside to help local governments fund teacher pensions.
The governor was responding to an online post by Jeremy Walker, who criticized the governor for withholding the money.
“For the second year in a row, Gov. Hogan is withholding school funding despite budget surpluses. Last year, he withheld $68 million; this year, it’s another $25 million that could have been spent addressing overcrowded schools, lowering class sizes, and providing students and educators the support they need to be successful,” Walker wrote on Hogan’s original post about spending $6.3 billion on K-12 education.
Hogan has repeatedly tried to distance himself from Trump. And for the most part, he has had little to say about Christie since the New Jersey governor endorsed Trump after leaving the race for the GOP presidential nomination.
But Chris Lloyd, an elementary school teacher and president of the Montgomery County teachers union, said Saturday that many of his colleagues are drawing parallels to Christie and Trump in Hogan’s description of union officials.
“It’s disappointing, especially as teachers are getting prepared to go back to school,” Lloyd said. “It’s disappointing to get to a level of name calling. Using the word is a stereotype of how we view teachers who are active and engaged in their union. . . . It is his right to advocate for what he thinks is right and it is our right to do the same, but we should never resort to name calling or classifying whole groups of people into negative images.”Hogan calls teachers union officials ‘thugs’ on Facebook - The Washington Post: