Latest News and Comment from Education

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Rise Above the Mark Film Excerpt - Indiana Funding - YouTube

Rise Above the Mark Film Excerpt - Indiana Funding - YouTube

Rise Above the Mark Film Excerpt - Indiana Funding
"The film is fantastic. It's simply astonishing that it was produced by public school educators. Public education is under attack and this film is proof."- Diane Ravitch

Public Education for all children!

Rise Above the Mark is a documentary narrated by Peter Coyote that brings to light the heartbreaking realities of public education. It’s the story of what happens when politics enters the classroom.
Public schools are boxed in by current corporate reforms. Rules and regulations restrict vision, depreciate funding, demoralize teachers, and turn students into test-taking machines, robbing them of time to foster creativity.
Rise Above the Mark focuses on Indiana’s struggles with public school reforms—the same types of struggles experienced in schools throughout the United States.
Experts Diane Ravitch, Linda Darling-Hammond, Pasi Sahlberg and others discuss how America can make positive changes to provide an exceptional public school system for all children.
Rise Above the Mark Film Excerpt - Indiana Funding - YouTube

Rise Above The Mark 

A Film About Public Education!

Rise Above The Mark, narrated by actor Peter Coyote (E. T., Erin Brockovich, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History) gives a glimpse inside America’s classrooms and the struggles teachers and students experience as increased legislation, standardized testing, and the subsequent elimination of the arts create rote learning and heartbreaking time constraints. Few hours remain in the school day for creative instruction and individualized study.
Rise Above The Mark is a documentary for parents, teachers, school administrators, and taxpayers who care about providing a quality education for all students. Rise Above The Mark sparks a much-needed conversation.

Featuring scholars and experts in public education

  • Dr. Diane Ravitch, outspoken education historian and former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education, expresses what she thinks is wrong in public education today and how our children are the ones suffering.
  • Dr. Linda Darling Hammond, the Charles Ducommun Professor of Education at Stanford University, talks of the latest studies regarding education reform.
  • Dr. Marc Tucker, President and CEO of the National Center on Education and the Economy, discusses the effects of education reforms on the economy.
  • Dr. Pasi Sahlberg, Director General of National Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation in the Ministry of Education in Helsinki, Finland, gives insight on one of the world’s most successful public education systems.
  • Mr. Jamie Vollmer, author, speaker and supporter of public schools offers insight as a former businessman and critic of public schools.
  • Dr. David Hummels, Purdue University economist, explains in laymen’s terms the complicated web of school funding in Indiana through engaging graphics.

Host a Showing! Spark a conversation.

Interested in hosting a showing of Rise Above The Mark in your town? Choose an option below that best fits your situation and fill out the form. You may add multiple showings to your cart.
We strongly encourage that you make your showing big! Team up with neighboring schools/organizations to put on an event that really sparks a conversation about public education. Questions?

enrique baloyra: Pro charter billionaires astroturfing Democratic primaries - YouTube

Pro charter billionaires astroturfing Democratic primaries - YouTube

Pro charter billionaires astroturfing Democratic primaries

enrique baloyra

Protesters interrupted Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s rally in Atlanta on Thursday, chanting, “Our children, our choice!” The Democratic presidential hopeful was speaking at an historically Black college when the group demanded, “We want to be heard!”
Conservative outlets claim Warren’s primarily white crowd shouted down the Black protesters, but it was Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley who came back on stage and replied, “No one is here to quiet you, at least not this Black woman.”
The whole thing smacks of a setup, and you can expect more desperate antics like this as the primaries continue to heat up.
The Intercept’s Ryan Grim was at the rally and happened to recognize the protesters were funded by the Walton family. You know, the multibillionaires who’ve poured hundreds of $millions into privatizing our schools.
In fact, the pro-charter group run by the woman who bussed the protesters to the event is entirely funded by the Waltons.
Part of Warren’s campaign includes a proposal to hold the charter school industry “to the same transparency and accountability requirements as traditional public schools” and ban federal funding for any new for-profits.
The protesters claimed this would “limit parental choice.”
But, as Rachel Cohen points out, none of the senator’s proposals would actually affect the schools where the protesters currently send their children, unless, of course, the schools are fraudulent.
“protestors and activists deserve the respect to heard, and it was good Warren met with them. But what activists say is not inherently unimpeachable — and raising thoughts or objections is not silencing them”
To be clear, pro-charter billionaires were pivotal in shaping President Obama’s test-and-punish education policies that continue to this day to blame teachers for low test scores in the nation’s poorest schools. And they still have a few horses in the race.
Like Mayor Pete, whose major contributors include the California Charter Association.
And Michael Bloomberg, who just announced a $30 million ad buy using his vast personal wealth.
But progressives like Warren and Bernie Sanders are pushing the party to embrace education policy that actually benefits “students, not the financial or ideological interests of wealthy patrons like the DeVos and Walton families.”
Democrats would be wise to distance themselves from policies supported by the president’s most unpopular member of the president’s cabinet and the union-busting robber barons — like the Walton family — who make $4 million an hour while holding their workers down to $11.

Pro charter billionaires astroturfing Democratic primaries - YouTube

CATCH UP WITH CURMUDGUCATION + ICYMI: Good Lord Is Thanksgiving Really Next Week Edition (11/24)

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Good Lord Is Thanksgiving Really Next Week Edition (11/24)

ICYMI: Good Lord Is Thanksgiving Really Next Week Edition (11/24)

I find that in retirement holidays sort of sneak up on me. I suppose it's because I'm not exposed to the daily reminders from students and the school calendar. Mostly I like it, but sometimes I'm surprised. In the meantime, here are some readings from the week. Don't forget-- share what you like (from its original source). That's how the word gets out.

Rising Tide Review

Fordham released a "report" suggesting that having charters in a community improves all the schools. Yongmei Ni has a review of that report at the National Education Policy Center. Spoiler alert: Fordham's work is not entirely believable.

A Strike for Racial Justice and Democracy in Little Rock Schools

At Jacobin, Eric Blanc has a terrifically thorough look at what exactly has been going on in Little Rock, and how this is one more strike that is about the common good.

An Army of Children Toils in African Mines

Not about US education, but an eye-opening look at one of the horrifying evils that feeds our modern tech.

When Testing Trumps Teaching, the Students Suffer

Tiffany Moyer-Washington in the Hartford Courant makes a good case for what we already know. Share it with someone who doesn't get it yet.

East Lansing Public Schools Had a Surplus

All kinds of unusual in this story from the Lansing State Journal, from the surprise surplus to what the board decided to do with some of the extra money.

PA Tax Credits Don't Benefit Poor

We have tax credits in PA, and the secrets of how they are used is carefully guarded, but Avi Wolfman-Arent did figure out that private schools are not exactly filling up with voucher-bearing poor kids.

LA Federation for Children and Out Of State Money

The indispensable Mercedes Schneider takes a look at how out of state money pours into local school board elections.

Voucher Programs Hurting Rural Schools

About that whole "vouchers will help students escape failing schools" thing. Turns out it's  not entirely accurate. Patrick Redmond at the News Sun has the story.

Unequal Access and Denial of Opportunity

Jan Resseger looks at how the portfolio school reform model is just not working.

Trump's Pledge Delayed By Education Department

One not-awful Trump pledged to do  was erase the student loan debt of disabled veterans. But the ed department is stalling it. Not so much nefarious as the kin d of incompetence when someone with no administrative experience takes over an agency she wants to kill. Politico has the story.

Howard Schools Plan In Motion

The Howard district has actually tried to balance the level of poverty across it schools. They plenty of rough pushback, but they did it anyway. The Baltimore Sun tells the story of how they managed to do the right thing in the face of nasty threats.

The New Deal For Education 

Cheri Kiesecker tracks another move toward implementing the cradle-to-workplace pipeline. It's not a happy story.

2019 Bulwer-Lytton Awards

This annual competition celebrates really bad opening lines for unwritten bad works. I do love it.

CURMUDGUCATION: ICYMI: Good Lord Is Thanksgiving Really Next Week Edition (11/24)



President Grant and the Reconstruction That Wasn't

I've finished the biography Grant by Ron Chernow, the author who famously wrote that bio of Alexander Hamilton (and a really good one of Rockefeller, too). In the end, Ulysses S. Grant remains a little more opaque than some of Chernow's other subjects, but the history that Grant himself lived through is a striking reflection of our nation in a troubled time. He failed at business. His in-laws were

NOV 22

Booker Returns To The Corporate Fold

On Monday of this week, Cory Booker went full charter school in an op-ed for the New York Time s, a choice that made a little more sense when I looked at my Wednesday e-mail from Whitney Tilson. Whitney Tilson is a successful hedge funder who started Democrats for Education Reform mostly because at that point, Republicans for Education Reform would have been unnecessary. The GOP was already behind
The Waltons Try To Disrupt Elizabeth Warren (updated)

Elizabeth Warren was in Atlanta at Clark Atlanta University to talk to black voters, when the rally was disrupted by a group of charter school supporters , angry about the hard line stance Warren has staked out on the charter school industry. The group of grass roots charter supporters had, they said, "come from all over the country," and if that doesn't send up a little red flag, then perhaps the
The One And Only Lesson To Be Learned From NAEP Scores

It has been almost a month since the NAERP scores have dropped, and some folks are still trying to torture some sort of useful insights from the numbers (here's Mike Petrilli at Fordham writing a piece that should be entitled " What to learn about being better a hitting the wrong target "). The world of education is a fuzzy one, with some declaring that teaching is more art than science. But then

NOV 21

Yes And

Why do I see such a profound lack of “yes and” in education conversations? “YES we can criticize bad data AND advocate for preparing students for the jobs of the future.” “YES we can advocate for abolishing the the tests AND argue to improve education.” — Akil Bello (@akilbello) November 13, 2019 This tweet (shared with permission) really hit me where I live. Because defenders of public education

NOV 20

David Osborne Tells The Big Charter Lie

Somewhere on the other side of the Wall Street Journal paywall, David Osborne is bloviating about why charters are swell and Democratic candidates should stop telling "big lies" about them. The WSJ undoubtedly considers this a real stroke of some kind because Osborne is nominally a Democrat, the kind Arne Duncan hugging , Al Gore assisting Democrat who loves him some charters just as deeply as any

NOV 19

PA: Charter Drains Public Schools, Now Wants To Absorb Them

This week the Philadelphia Enquirer ran the story of a charter operator that wants to take over all of a district's public elementary schools. This is perhaps a logical next step in a district that has been steadily and methodically starved over the past decade. Once you've sucked out the blood and consumed the flesh, what is there left to do but feast on the bones? The school district is Chester

NOV 18

PA: Vouchers Are One Step Closer To Ugly Reality

HB 1800 , the bill intended to pilot vouchers in Pennsylvania, made it out of committee today . The vote was 13-12, with two GOP representatives (Rosemary Brown and Meghan Schroeder) voting no. The precipitating excuse for this bill is the school system of Harrisburg, a system that has suffered from financial mismanagement and so was put in financial receivership, a sort of state takeover, last J
Pondiscio: Success Academy Is Better And Worse Than You Think

Robert Pondiscio is a senior fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a thinky tank steeped in conservative ed reform and staunch advocates of school choice, so one might expect that his book about Success Academy, the famous/infamous charter chain in New York City would be something of a puff piece, one more example of founder Eva Moskowitz’s broad and endless PR campaign. Indeed, the title Ho

NOV 17

ICYMI: Soup Party Day Edition (11/17)

My nephew and his wife are hosting a big soup party today, which I'm pretty sure is a first for me. Kids these days. In the meantime, here an assortment of reading material from the week. Remember-- share the stuff that really speaks to you. That's how bloggers become rich and famous- okay, well, not actually. But it is how media outlets find out they should do education coverage, and it's how peo

NOV 16

FL: Yet Another Bad Plan To Not Increase Teacher Pay

So previously there was the Best and the Brightest program, which awarded teacher bonuses based on student test scores and the teacher's own SAT scores. From high school. It had a variety of problems (above and beyond the basic boneheadedness of the idea) and the new governor, Ron DeSantis found it "confusing." Yes, you can still buy swampland in Florida This newer, betterer plan comes along with

Betsy DeVos Accuses FBI Of Ignorance, Blames Public Education (And More)

Never let it be said that Betsy DeVos won't go out of her way to blame US public education for all the ills of the country, real or imagined. In retrospect, it seems like an oversight that she hadn't had a "Kids These Days" moment, but