Latest News and Comment from Education

Sunday, September 16, 2018

You caused charter school corruption, so stop whining

You caused charter school corruption, so stop whining

You caused charter school corruption, so stop whining
Opinion: You've elected and re-elected individuals who built a system that some of them can use to get rich. On your money.

Eddie Farnsworth makes no apologies. And he shouldn’t.
Farnsworth is the Republican legislator who is making millions for himself by cleverly using taxpayer dollars available by way of  Arizona’s corrupt charter school system.
It is a system that allows charter operators like Farnsworth to use taxpayer money to build their private businesses and then turn themselves into millionaires doing things that would send regular public school administrators to prison.
The lawmaker/millionaire said last week in the most smugly sanctimonious way:
"I make no apologies for being successful.”

No apologies...none necessary

Nor should he.
It is not Farnsworth’s fault that he was elected to the Arizona Legislature.
It is not his fault that he supports laws allowing charter school operators to scoop buckets of cash from the public treasury and stuff the bills into their own pockets.
It is not his fault that Republicans fashioned laws creating strict procurement and conflict-of-interest rules for regular public school administrators but made charter school operators, like Farnsworth, exempt.
It is not Farnsworth’s fault that the Arizona State Board of Charter schools approved the transfer of his for-profit charter-school operation to a non-profit company, a move The Arizona Republic’s Craig Harris reported will make Farnsworth something between roughly $12 million and $30 million.
It is not Farnsworth’s fault that he and many other individuals, including other legislators, have used Arizona’s fast and loose charter school rules to raid the state’s cookie jar for personal gain.

That’s why someone like Farnsworth is so comfortable saying in the most holier-than-thou self-righteous manner, “I make no apologies for being successful.”
Believe me when I tell you that this is…Not. His. Fault.
It’s yours.
Farnsworth has been getting elected for roughly 20 years. If you didn’t like what was being done – or not done – at the Legislature when it came to charter schools, you could have voted him out.
You didn’t.

You had your chance to stop it

The same is true of Gov. Doug Ducey and other lawmakers.
For quite some time The Republic has been outlining the flaws and outright abuses of Continue reading: You caused charter school corruption, so stop whining

"Punitive Discipline Policies Have Proven to Be Destructive to Children"

"Punitive Discipline Policies Have Proven to Be Destructive to Children"

“Punitive Discipline Policies Have Proven to Be Destructive to Children”

Janine Jackson: Nothing says America 2018 like a spate of storieson how back-to-school shopping includes bulletproof backpacks. Arming teachers and gearing kids up like commandos are presented as more-or-less reasonable responses to concerns about school safety.
Any violence in schools is too much, of course, but a conversation about school safety that’s focused on guns and bullets is a narrow and distorted conversation. Recasting our definition of a “safe school environment” could lead us in some very different directions.
Karen Dolan is director of the Criminalization of Race and Poverty Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, and co-author, with Ebony Slaughter-Johnson and Myacah Sampson, of the recent report Students Under Siege: How the School-to-Prison Pipeline, Poverty and Racism Endanger Our SchoolchildrenShe joins us now by phone from Washington, DC. Welcome to CounterSpin, Karen Dolan.
Karen Dolan: Thank you, Janine. It’s a pleasure.
Take us through what you see as the most salient observations in this report. What were you looking at, and what did you find?
We were looking at the ways in which children can have the most support and the best chance at the best life. And while we are doing this work and this research, the Parkland shooting happened, of course, and it has been in the news a lot, gun violence and school shootings, which of course endanger our public school students. But at the same time, there’s a larger number of students, there’s millions of students, who are also being endangered simply by having their future cut short by excessive expulsions, suspensions, referrals to the criminal justice system, lack of proper supports in school for academics, for social and emotional learning, and for well-being.
And as we hear the discussions on the airwaves, as we read it in the newspaper, as you said, about going back to school, and the Education Department suggesting that we take money away from student supports and put them into arming teachers and putting more cops in the hallways, it’s really exactly the wrong thing that we should be doing. And what we would like to do is see the debate broaden into looking at safety measures in a deeper, more holistic way as our students return to school.
When you say it’s the wrong thing to do, or the wrong direction, that has to do with the impacts of these punitive, “get tough” school policies, that people often say are aimed at safety, but the fallout from them falls out in certain kinds of ways.
That’s right. The impacts can be very devastating and very long term. So you see everything from a child having one suspension doubling their  Continue reading: "Punitive Discipline Policies Have Proven to Be Destructive to Children"

At G20, Betsy DeVos puts America last

At G20, Betsy DeVos puts America last

At G20, Betsy DeVos puts America last

On September 5th, 2018, in what can only be described as a mind-boggling stab to the gut of Americans, the US Secretary of Education committed US education to the globalist agenda of collectivism, corporatism, and social engineering; to a global agenda that was decidedly rejected by a diverse array of Americans through the election of Donald Trump in 2016.
DeVos attended the G20’s first ever Education Ministerial Meeting, held in Argentina. Out of those meetings came the eight-page G20 Education Ministers’ Declaration 2018. The document details the goals, priorities, and world-wide agenda of the G20 ministers in the areas of Education and Skills PoliciesFinancing EducationInternational Cooperation, and The Way Forward.


The first statement of the document’s Preamble illustrates what the authors grievously believe to be the purpose of education (italics and spelling patterns in the original):
We, the Ministers of Education of the G20 members and invited countries, met in Mendoza, Argentina on 5 September 2018 to affirm the unique role of education as a key driver for sustainable development for all nations, recognise the need to place education at the centre of the global agenda and call for collective action.
This is a distressing indication that the US Secretary of Education’s philosophical beliefs are gravely inharmonious with those of most American parents who humbly and rightfully desire a quality education for their children; education which bestows the fundamental skills and knowledge necessary to thrive.


Statements 20-22, among others, are especially illuminating: the statements therein shine a spotlight on both the relativistic-globalist mindset of DeVos and the other G20 education ministers, as well as these ministers’ narcissistic presumptuousness.
Reading the declaration, it becomes evident that the authors believe themselves to be the noble representatives of the “shared” aspirations and values of all peoples the world over, and the bearers of a fruitful philosophy which will usher in a new and prosperous future to be welcomed with open arms.
Key statements to this effect include:
We commit to facilitating the internationalisation of education.
We will work to meet our commitments affirmed in this Declaration… to building a robust set of education and skills policies from a global perspective that fosters inclusive and sustainable human progress in every nation.


The second statement is quite curious, given that the United States has pulled out of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which will officially take place at the end of this year. Statement 2 reads (italics in original):
In line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda, we affirm our commitment to ensuring Continue reading: At G20, Betsy DeVos puts America last
Image result for america last devos

Black Boxes, Student Data & Playing Moneyball for Education – Seattle Education

Black Boxes, Student Data & Playing Moneyball for Education – Seattle Education


Removing errors from contact list records sets future marketing campaigns up for success.

We’re rapidly entering a world of evidence-based decision making in public education. These decisions will be powered by vast amounts of data run through proprietary black boxes that parents will have no way of understanding. The approach is called Moneyballand the goal is to justify ration resources to students –while investors make a tidy profit.
One of the most difficult challenges I’ve had as a parent is convincing other parents that the endless collection of our kids’ data isn’t benign and technology isn’t inherently benevolent.
Big Data, Like Big Brother, Isn’t Your Friend
As adults, we’ve chosen to ignore this cold hard fact: that by using electronic devices, we are allowing ourselves to become a product. Von Shoshana Zuboff calls this evolution in big data mediated economics surveillance capitalism:
It’s now clear that this shift in the use of behavioral data was an historic turning point. Behavioral data that were once discarded or ignored were rediscovered as what I call behavioral surplus. Google’s dramatic success in “matching” ads to pages revealed the transformational value of this behavioral surplus as a means of generating revenue and ultimately turning investment into capital. Behavioral surplus was the game-changing zero-cost asset that could be diverted from service improvement toward a genuine market exchange. Key to this formula, however, is the fact that this new market exchange was not an exchange with users but rather with other companies who understood how to make money from bets on users’ future behavior. In this new context, users were no longer an end-in-themselves.  Instead they became a means to profits in  a new kind of marketplace in which users are neither buyers nor sellers nor products.  Users are the source of free raw material that feeds a new kind of manufacturing process.
As adults we’re vaguely aware that certain choices we make will impact our credit report. The inputs seem arbitrary and frankly ridiculous. Unless, there’s a problem, THEN, the unfairness of the system quickly comes into focus.
How your credit report is determined is an example of a black box. Inputs go in, something happens inside the box, and then your credit report comes out. What happens inside the box? Who knows? It’s a proprietary predictive model.
What sorts of random digital bits could impacts your credit report? Things like what operating system you use, if you do your browsing using a desktop or cellphone, even what you decided to use as your email address.