Friday, October 19, 2018

Ravitch pushes against charter schools in Louisville rally - Insider Louisville

Ravitch pushes against charter schools in Louisville rally - Insider Louisville

Ravitch pushes against charter schools in Louisville rally



The former assistant secretary of education, Diane Ravitch, doesn’t like traveling, Gay Adelmann, a local education advocate, learned while trying to persuade Ravitch to speak in Louisville.
This time, she got lucky: The organization Ravitch co-founded, the Network for Public Education, is hosting its conference in Indianapolis this weekend. And as long as someone promised to drive Ravitch from Louisville to the conference, “she was more than gracious enough to add this to her busy schedule,” Adelmann said.
Local organizations that support public education teamed up to invite Ravitch and other speakers to Central High School Thursday night to push against what they deem to be threats to public education, including charter schools.

“Diane is arguably the foremost national expert on what’s really driving the push to privatize our public schools,” Adelmann, the event organizer, said.
Ravitch studied the underlying problems impacting public schools and wrote “The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education,” which won the Grawemeyer Education Award in 2014.
The event came after Jefferson County Public Schools, the state’s largest district, dodged a state takeover. Many of the hosting groups, including Save Our Schools Kentucky and the Jefferson County Teachers Association, fought against the proposed takeover in favor of maintaining local control.
In brief opening remarks, JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio acknowledged this, thanking the crowd for Continue reading: Ravitch pushes against charter schools in Louisville rally - Insider Louisville



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The Network for Public Education is live-streaming events from Indianapolis. Watch here. #NPE18INDY | Diane Ravitch's blog

Watch NPE Conference Live from Indianapolis! #NPE18INDY | Diane Ravitch's blog

Watch NPE Conference Live from Indianapolis! #NPE18INDY



The Network for Public Education is live-streaming events from Indianapolis. Watch here.
If you weren’t able to make it to Indianapolis to join us this year, don’t fret – we’ve got you covered! Just hop on to the NPE Action Facebook page to catch all of the keynote speeches and select workshops both Saturday and Sunday.
Here’s a schedule of everything that will be live-streamed. Click the “read more” links below for more information about workshops and speakers.
And make sure to use the hashtag #NPE18INDY on social media to interact with conference attendees all weekend!
Saturday:
8:00-9:20 – Diane Ravitch & Pasi Sahlberg (read more)
9:30-10:40 – The People of Arizona vs. The Koch Brothers: Fighting Privatization and Dark Money with Beth Lewis and Sharon Kirsch (read more)
10:50-12:00 – Outsourcing the Classroom to Ed Tech & Machine-learning: Why Parents & Teachers Should Resist with Peter Greene, Leonie Haimson and Audrey Watters (read more)
12:30-1:20 – Teachers in Action: A Conversation with Teacher Leaders with Michelle Gunderson, Petia Edison, Rebecca Garelli and Alex Orozco (read more)
2:40-3:50 – Fighting Privatization in Puerto Rico with Edwin Morales Laboy, Mercedes Martinez, Aixa Rodriguez and Kaliris Salas (read <a href="https://events.bizzabo.com/NPE18INDY/agenda/session/273315?link_id=5&can_id=012f354d90b87664b362dda6a4b2980d&source=email-npe18indy-livestream-starts-tomorrow-morning&email_referrer=email_439078&email_subject=npe18indy-livestream-starts-tomorrow-morning”>more)
4:00-5:10 – Grading the States: The NPE/Schott School Privatization Report Card with Derek Black, Carol Burris and Tanya Clay House (read more)
5:20-6:00 – Helen Gym: Victories for Public Education in Philadelphia (read more)
Sunday:
8:15-9:25 – #WeChoose Campaign; Building a Multi-Racial Visionary National Campaign Rooted in Racial Justice and Local Realities with Jitu Brown, Elzora Cleveland, Ronsha Dickerson, Angel Gober, Kamua Kepheru and Maulana Tolbert (read more)
10:00-10:45 – Jesse Hagopian: Black Lives Matter at School (read more)
10:55-12:05 – The Racist Origins of Standardized Testing and the Racist Idea of Black/Brown Inferiority with Erika Strauss Chavarria, Denisha Jones and Marla Kilfoyle (read more)
12:15-12:35 – Call to Action
12:45-2:00 – NAACP President, Derrick Johnson (read more)



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Big Spending on Privatizing Public Schools in San Antonio | tultican

Big Spending on Privatizing Public Schools in San Antonio | tultican

Big Spending on Privatizing Public Schools in San Antonio



Federal dollars are supplementing deep pocketed Destroy Public Education (DPE) forces in an effort to privatize schools in San Antonio, Texas. The total monetary support for the preferred charter school systems exceeds $200,000,000. One “DPE” publication, The 74, published a lengthy piece glorifying the attack on San Antonio’s democratically run schools and praised local elites including the school superintendent trained by Arne Duncan and Eli Broad for leading the decimation of public schools in San Antonio’s poorest neighborhoods.
The article cited above ends with this disclosure:
“The George W. Brackenridge Foundation provided financial support for this project to The 74 [local San Antonio money]. The Walton Family Foundation [Walmart money with long history for working to privatize schools] , Bloomberg Philanthropies [Former NY Mayor spends heavily on charter school promotion], Carnegie Corporation of New York [Supports charter schools like Summit], the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation [Paid for Common Core and lavishes money on charter schools], The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation [Literally wrote a guide to closing public schools], the Doris and Donald Fisher Fund [Biggest and earliest funder of KIPP], the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation [Tulsa Foundation that supports privatization friendly school board candidates across the nation], the Karsh Family Foundation [Oaktree Capital Management money from LA – supporters of KIPP], and Jon Sackler [Purdue Pharmaceutical money from oxycontin – supports school privatization school board candidates]  provide financial support to both KIPP and The 74.”
In other words, this article was a paid advertisement selling the privatization agenda. The George W. Brackenridge Foundation from San Antonio made a first Continue reading: Big Spending on Privatizing Public Schools in San Antonio | tultican



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Chicken-Little Politics and the Curse of Testing (and Standards) in South Carolina | radical eyes for equity

Chicken-Little Politics and the Curse of Testing (and Standards) in South Carolina | radical eyes for equity

Chicken-Little Politics and the Curse of Testing (and Standards) in South Carolina


I entered education as a high school teacher in South Carolina in the 1984-1985 academic year, the first year of a significant teacher pay raise and a pivotal ground zero in the state’s accountability era established in late 1970s legislation.
Over about four decades, SC has revised or changed educational standards six or seven times and implemented about the same number of differentstate and national tests.
And what hath this curse of testing and standards wrought for SC?
South Carolina students bomb the ACT, falling behind Mississippi, announces an article by Paul Bowers explaining:
South Carolina’s graduating class of 2018 came close to dead-last in the nation on the ACT college readiness test, painting a grim picture of a state that has languished near the bottom of education rankings for decades.
This year’s graduates placed 50th among the states and Washington, D.C., on the ACT, according to composite scores based on the test’s English, Reading, Math and Science sections.
Only Nevada’s students did worse.
The chicken-little politics of accountability has been fulfilled in ways that assure politicians, the public, and the media will declare schools, teachers, and students a failure. Yet again, and again, ad nauseam.
Let’s try something different here, ways to interpret better this data from the ACT.
The first key point about these scores is that SC is experiencing  Continue reading: Chicken-Little Politics and the Curse of Testing (and Standards) in South Carolina | radical eyes for equity



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Jeff Bryant: The Backlash to Betsy DeVos' Disastrous Education Legacy May Drive a Massive Blue Wave on Her Home Turf | Alternet

The Backlash to Betsy DeVos' Disastrous Education Legacy May Drive a Massive Blue Wave on Her Home Turf | Alternet

The Backlash to Betsy DeVos' Disastrous Education Legacy May Drive a Massive Blue Wave on Her Home Turf
Should Democrats retake the Rust Belt, it may not only snuff out the DeVos legacy but also change the course of education policy in the nation.
 Jeff Bryant 





It’s increasingly clear that if the November midterm elections are to produce a “Blue Wave” for the Democratic Party, then many of the wins will need to come in Midwestern states that Trump carried in the 2016 presidential election. But what’s less well understood is that an issue helping Democratic candidates compete in the region is education. In the stomping ground of U.S. Secretary Betsy DeVos—including her home state of Michigan as well as the surrounding states of Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois and nearby Minnesota—Democratic candidates are getting an edge by sharply opposing the DeVos agenda of privatizing public schools.
Up and down the ballots in state contests in the Midwest, Democratic candidates call for an end to school voucher programs that use public taxpayer funds to pay for tuitions at private schools, they propose tougher regulations of privately managed charter schools funded by the public, and they pledge to direct public money for education to public schools. Should Democrats retake the Rust Belt, it may not only snuff out the DeVos legacy but also change the course of education policy in the nation.
Why the Midwest Matters
The need for Democrats to prevail in the Midwest is acute. Trump won Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin in 2016 and came close in Minnesota. But a perhaps more important trend in these states is the Republican dominance down ballot where Republicans control both chambers of the state legislature and governors and most of the U.S. House seats in Michigan, The Backlash to Betsy DeVos' Disastrous Education Legacy May Drive a Massive Blue Wave on Her Home Turf | Alternet




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School choice opponents urged to vote, lobby - WDRB 41 Louisville News

School choice opponents urged to vote, lobby - WDRB 41 Louisville News

School choice opponents urged to vote, lobby

Speakers at Thursday's rally included a former assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Education and a prominent community organizer.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The message at Thursday’s rally hosted by Save Our Schools Kentucky was simple: Opponents of school choice in Kentucky must vote for like-minded candidates in the Nov. 6 elections and show up to the Capitol when lawmakers return to Frankfort in January.
Speakers such as Diane Ravitch, a former U.S. assistant education secretary in the early 1990s, and Jitu Brown, national director of the Journey for Justice Alliance, urged the audience of 80 at Central High School to actively oppose charter schools, tuition vouchers and other forms of school choice.
They, like others who reject school choice initiatives, argued that such efforts undermine traditional public schools and don’t produce the results that proponents claim.
They also say that efforts to stymie such initiatives are working.
“I think we’re in an epic battle between David and Goliath,” Ravitch said, “and I believe … David is winning.”
Education has been a political flash point in states like Kentucky, where teachers marched on the Capitol against changes to their pensions and budget cuts in various educational programs. That prompted dozens of current and former teachers to run for seats in the General Assembly this year.
The legislature approved charter schools during the 2017 session, but lawmakers adjourned this year without passing a public funding mechanism for them, leaving charters in limbo for now.
Gay Adelmann, co-founder of Save Our Schools in Kentucky, hopes that some legislators who voted to pass the charter school law will reverse course and support bills to strike it down.
That, coupled with voting charter opponents into office, would make the law’s prospects bleak, she said.
“If we keep putting pressure on our legislators who may have been pro-charter in the past, I think they’re starting to see the light,” Adelmann said after the rally.
But Joel Adams, executive director of the Kentucky Public Charter Schools Association, says he doesn’t see legislators repealing the law after passing it less than two years ago.
“There’s a whole long-standing history of building to the point of getting people to understand why this is important, why it’s critical for a lot of students across the state of Kentucky, and that need hasn’t gone away regardless of whether Save Our Schools folks think that it has,” Adams told WDRB News.
Speakers at Thursday’s rally said school choice efforts don’t produce the results that advocates claim and that charter school operators in particular are more concerned with profits and cherry-pick students.
Ravitch said Michigan’s educational rankings have “steadily declined” since school choice initiatives became law there.
Adams, however, rejected the argument that charters don’t work as “simply not true.” Charter schools must show results or risk being shut down, he said, adding that Kentucky's law doesn't allow charters to be selective in the students they enroll.
“I think there’s a little less emphasis on the newest innovations and more focus, in many areas at least, on what really has been shown to work, and there’s a ton that has been shown to work, especially in urban environments,” Adams said.
Brown, with the Journey for Justice Alliance, said residents in other states have been successful in local efforts to boost traditional public schools.
“My point is if we work together, if we organize together, if we learn the artistic science of community organizing, we can win,” he said. “The privatizers have the money, but they don’t have the people.”
Reach reporter Kevin Wheatley at 502-585-0838 and kwheatley@wdrb.com. Follow him on Twitter @KevinWheatleyKY.
Copyright 2018 WDRB News. All rights reserved.
School choice opponents urged to vote, lobby - WDRB 41 Louisville News



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Teachers are Running for Office – And to Save Public Education – Have You Heard

Teachers are Running for Office – And to Save Public Education – Have You Heard

Teachers are Running for Office – And to Save Public Education


Teachers are running for office in unprecedented numbers. And that’s not the only thing that makes this wave of teachers-turned-candidates unique. In the latest episode of the Have You Heard podcast, we meet some candidates who aren’t just running for office but to save public education. Full transcript of the episode here.




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Teachers are Running for Office – And to Save Public Education – Have You Heard


Dysfunctional School Boards: Part I and Part 2– Educate Louisiana

Dysfunctional School Boards: Part I – Educate Louisiana

Dysfunctional School Boards: Part I

Dysfunctional School Boards: Part Two – Educate Louisiana - https://wp.me/p790OS-vz on @edlouisiana

If you ask any teacher in Louisiana who has taught more than ten years what’s the worst thing to happen to the teaching profession, most of them will say Act I; the legislation that defines how teacher are evaluated using invalid student test scores and a Utopian scoring rubric that was designed to be a tool for teacher reflection and not a standard to be judged against.
What the general public doesn’t realize is that in addition to demeaning the teaching profession, Act I also stripped locally elected school boards of most of their power. When you understand the motivation behind these significant changes, you get a better understanding of what is happening in education.
State statute defines local school boards as a political subdivision of the State of Louisiana. The members of local school boards are democratically elected by the citizens of the school districts they represent. The changes made by Act I have limited the ability of individual board members, and the board as a whole, to effectively represent their constituents. Act I essentially reduces the local board to three responsibilities. 1.) Appoint a superintendent. 2.) Approve a budget. 3.) Make policy.
I’ll get more into those responsibilities later, but first I want to talk about why certain entities would want the power of boards limited. Education reform groups, which are largely comprised of subsets of business and industry, believe that local school boards are too political and get in the way of policies that support the wants and needs of business and industry. Their belief is that school districts should be run like corporations, or nonprofits that have a hands-off board of directors that hires an executive to run the organization, and that executive should be a business leader who can run the district like a business. In Continue reading: Dysfunctional School Boards: Part I – Educate Louisiana 




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Forgive me #edutwitter, for I have sinned - Edu-Confessional | Blue Cereal Education

Edu-Confessional | Blue Cereal Education

Edu-Confessional

Confessional Moment

Forgive me #edutwitter, for I have sinned. It’s been two weeks since my last post, but months since anything, you know… good
Where should I start? I teach history so I’m partial to chronologically, but—
Maybe it’s best if I just dive in with the worst of it, then move through the list from there. 
First, I assign a lot of videos in my AP World History class. My AP U.S. History class, too – but not as many as for World. “Required Viewing,” I call it, to go with each week’s “Required Reading.” Crash CourseHip HughesTed-EdOverly Sarcastic (not to be confused with OverSimplified, which in turn is quite different than Simple History). 
I think I even used It’s History! once or twice, when it really fit. 
It’s just… well, our textbook isn’t very good. It’s poorly organized and at times downright bewildering. My kids get frustrated with it – and not in the usual “but this is hard!” way. It has some good sections, but… well, it’s mediocre at best for most things. 
There are articles and supplemental readings I use, but when you can have animation and key points on the screen and entertaining personalities… Plus, we went one-to- Continue reading: Edu-Confessional | Blue Cereal Education



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Exploding Inequality and Poverty: We Got the “Failing” Schools Narrative Wrong and Failed to See the Real Problem | janresseger

Exploding Inequality and Poverty: We Got the “Failing” Schools Narrative Wrong and Failed to See the Real Problem | janresseger

Exploding Inequality and Poverty: We Got the “Failing” Schools Narrative Wrong and Failed to See the Real Problem



Two articles published this week make interesting companions.
The first is Jack Schneider’s post—published in the Washington Post as part of Valerie Strauss’s column: How Are America’s Public Schools Really Doing?  Schneider, of the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, explores the fact that widespread public perception of America’s public education system tanked after No Child Left Behind labeled an ever-increasing number of schools as failing every year.  So-called failing schools were the ones that couldn’t make Adequate Yearly Progress on what we now know was a crazy and unrealistic timeline.  It became apparent, as the 2014 deadline approached when all public schools were supposed to make every child proficient or be labeled “failing,” that almost every school in America would have been received the label except that Arne Duncan’s Department of Education began granting the states waivers from what had become a ridiculous expectation.


Schneider describes what became a widely believed narrative: “(T)he emergence of this popular belief (in the failure of our schools) may illustrate the triumph of rhetoric rather than an actual shift in school quality… New lows were established in 2007 and 2008, as the failures of No Child Left Behind began to clearly reveal themselves, before confidence fell to 29 percent in 2012, the year the federal government began issuing waivers form NCLB’s accountability mechanisms… then to an all-time low in 2014, at 26 percent.”
Schneider shows, however, that scores on the National Assessment of Education Progress in both language arts and math remained relatively flat, in fact growing very slightly between the 1970s and 2012.  Schneider concludes: “(I)t seems that national reform rhetoric has driven the decline in perceptions of school quality.  For the past several decades, Americans have been inundated with messages about a crisis in public education.”
Having rejected the narrative of widespread public school failure, Schneider reminds us that we do have an education problem, but we’ve chosen to ignore it as we listened to the wrong Continue reading: Exploding Inequality and Poverty: We Got the “Failing” Schools Narrative Wrong and Failed to See the Real Problem | janresseger




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