Newark Student Union demonstrating at BAT rally

I was impressed by the multiracial Newark Student Union at the BAT rally today. They have been protesting the idiotic policies of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and his Undemocratically appointed education chancellor, Cami Anderson.

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Published in: on July 28, 2014 at 10:06 am  Leave a Comment  

BAT march for public education at the US DOE today, July 28

I’m at a rally at the US Department of Education right now at 4th and Md Ave SW in DC. It’s put on by “Bad Ass Teachers” and it’s against the current policies of the USDoE as exemplified by Arne Duncan and his real bosses, billionaires Bill Gates and the Walton and Koch families.

Maybe a couple of hundred folks.

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I attach a couple of early photos.

You know, we really need a whole lot more teachers, parents, students and ordinary citizens here and at other such demonstrations.0

Published in: on July 28, 2014 at 9:07 am  Comments (1)  

Anthony Cody The Gates Moratorium

I am quoting all of Diane Ravitch’s post on this:
========================

Anthony Cody: Is Gates’ Moratorium Real or a Tactic to Defuse Opposition?

by dianeravitch

When the Gates Foundation issued a press release calling for a two-year moratorium on the use of test scores to evaluate teachers, its position met a mixed reception. Some saw it as a victory for the critics of high-stakes testing; others as an attempt to weaken the critics by deferring the high stakes.

Anthony Cody says, don’t be fooled. The Gates Foundation gives no indication that it understands that its path is wrong, it is simply buying time.

The question we should all be asking is how this one very rich foundation took charge of American education and is in a position to issue policy statements that should be the domain of state and local school boards. What we have lost is democratic control of public education; while no one was looking, it got outsourced to the Gates Foundation.

Cody writes:

“As a thought experiment, what would it look like if the Gates Foundation truly was attending to the research and evidence that is showing how damaging the new Common Core tests and high stakes accountability systems are? Would they simply be calling to defer the worst effects of this system for two years?

A real appraisal of the evidence would reveal:

“VAM systems are unreliable and destructive when used for teacher evaluations, even as one of several measurements.

“School closures based on test scores result in no real gains for the students, and tremendous community disruption.

“Charter schools are not providing systemic improvements, and are expanding inequity and segregation.

“Attacks on teacher seniority and due process are destabilizing a fragile profession, increasing turnover.

“Tech-based solutions are often wildly oversold, and deliver disappointing results. Witness K12 Inc’s rapidly expanded virtual charter school chain, described here earlier this year.

“Our public education system is not broken, but is burdened with growing levels of poverty, inequity and racial isolation. Genuine reform means supporting schools, not abandoning them.

“The fundamental problem with the Gates Foundation is that it is driving education down a path towards more and more reliance on tests as the feedback mechanism for a market-driven system. This is indeed a full-blown ideology, reinforced by Gates’ own experience as a successful technocrat. The most likely hypothesis regarding the recent suggestion that high stakes be delayed by two years is that this is a tactical maneuver intended to diffuse opposition and preserve the Common Core project – rather than a recognition that these consequences do more harm than good.”

Moratorium or no, he notes, we are locked into a failed paradigm of testing and accountability. Standards and tests are not vehicles to advance equity and civil rights. If anything, they have become a way to undermine democracy and standardize education.

Published in: on June 23, 2014 at 9:12 am  Comments (2)  

Judge Treu’s Folly

The whole idea of making a monetary calculation of the impact of a teacher — only as measured by some arcane and complicated formula involving predicted and actual test scores (VAM) — is ludicrous as soon as you look at the details. Those VAM scores fail the most basic test: they are utterly unreliable. It’s not clear what they measure, but I think it’s like random , Brownian motion unless someone has their fingers on the scale — and we know that here in DC, Atlanta, and a bunch of other cities, none of the clearly fraudulent bonus awards were ever clawed back. Honest teachers are put at risk of losing their jobs by cheaters. Adults. And they are using this to claim that pretty much any job protection for teachers is unconstitutional? And the main reason that poor and brown or black kids in CA get crappy educations?

Give me and the public a break.

And let’s look at those lifetime earnings — an alleged $1,250.00 difference in LIFETIME earnings. Hmm. If you work part or full time for 40 years, that’s a princely sum of about $313 more dollars per year, or a bit more than SIX DOLLARS PER WEEK. Less than 1 hour of work at the currently- much-too-low minimum wage.

Are they serious? That’s nothing! They claim they can measure that kind of difference !?!? That won’t pay for a single drink at a restaurant or bar where these economists get wined and fined and applauded by the billionaires intent on ignoring the fact that it’s precisely their greed in cornering so much of the economy that is causing such misery and self-destructive behavior in most of our ghettos: people see the opulent lifestyle of the rich on TV but they live in crapoy conditions, constantly overworked or underworked and just a few steps before going bankrupt, losing their car, being deported, being locked up, losing their house or apartment…

Anybody who pretends that having Teacher C as opposed to Teacher M for kindergarten will make a kid earn SUX MORE DOLLARS A WEEK needs to have their head examined . That’s a joke.

Published in: on June 16, 2014 at 9:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Unauthorized Teaching Activities

A satire from Susan Ohanian. She has bureaucratese jargon down pat.

An excerpt:

“It has come to the attention of the US Department of Education, Bill and Melinda Gates Substation that there has been recent unauthorized activity preceding the above referenced Common Core test. You have been identified as the for-hire person responsible for the classroom containing the following unauthorized materials

construction blocks;

finger paints and paper;

sand table;

play house with kitchen utensils and costumes;

piano;

improper ratio of fiction and non-fiction books. (See Guidelines 723.94A)”

“Through the work of our research partners and poll results showing the skills most in demand from the Fortune 500, the US Department of Education, Bill and Melinda Gates Substation has determined that the activities resulting from these materials is in violation of Part 276, of the CCSS Pre-Test Plan for Preparing Workers for the Global Economy, Sections 218.27634 to 218.27686 of the CCSS Pre-Test Compiled Laws annotated.

“We find the activities resulting from such materials are inherently hazardous to preparing children for their futures in the Global Economy and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist, removing all unauthorized materials from this location and to restore your classroom to a globally competitive work-ready condition. “

Published in: on May 25, 2014 at 6:07 am  Comments (1)  

Meet Jose Vilson

Very interesting print interview by EduShyster with Jose Vilson here,

 

A quote:

ES: One of your main points is that we can’t just be angry and rail against what’s wrong with the state of public education and the misguided effort to reform it. We have to be thinking about what our vision of reform is.

book-launch-285-4102JV: It’s critical. We can’t have an anti-everything movement. We can’t just be about deconstructing a house—we have to build a better one. And our house has to be more inclusive of those on the margins—that’s always my thing. In my heart of hearts, I believe that there are a good number of us who believe in that vision. But unfortunately, I also see that there is a certain set of us who either don’t think we need a plan, or don’t want a plan or think the good old days were good enough. I have news for those people. The good old days weren’t that good for a lot of us and they aren’t going to be good for any of us going forward if we don’t put forward some kind of positive vision. 

Bob Schaeffer’s Weekly Roundup of National Testing Resistance

From Bob Schaeffer of FairTest:

An increasing number of stories report criticism of Common Core tests and rising opposition to other high-stakes standardized exams. This week’s clips include updates from 20 states, several excellent commentaries and links to important reports.

The Gathering Resistance to Standardized Testing

http://www.alternet.org/education/gathering-resistance-standardized-tests

State Political Rifts Sap Support for Common Core Exams

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/05/07/30tests.h33.html

The Cost of Our Testing Obsession

http://www.nydailynews.com/opinion/costs-testing-obsession-article-1.1785275

Why a Common Core Testing Moratorium is Needed . . . Now!

http://www.fairtest.org/common-core-assessments-factsheet

Competitor Sues to Overturn Pearson’ s Common Core Testing Contract

http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/marketplacek12/2014/05/american_institutes_for_research_challenges_pearson_common-core_testing_award_in_court.html

Pearson’s History of Testing Problems

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/05/06/a-history-of-pearsons-testing-problems-worldwide/

Test Expert: Most California Schools Not Ready for Common Core Exams

http://www.thecalifornian.com/article/20140507/NEWS12/305060040/Test-expert-Most-schools-not-ready

Tryout of New California Test Plagued by Computer Problems

http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-new-tests-20140512-story.html#page=1

Common Core Testing Raises Question About Who Is in Charge of Connecticut Education

http://ctmirror.org/op-ed-common-core-raises-question-who-is-in-charge-of-education/

Florida Governor Approves One-Year Pause on School Grading Consequences

http://www.news4jax.com/news/scott-approves-1year-pause-on-school-grades/25951312

Student Testing a Major Issue in Idaho School Chief Election

http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2014/may/08/rivals-idaho-schools-chief-differ-student-testing/

Illinois Suburbs Push Back Against Testing

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-school-ratings-overhaul-sidebar-met-20140511,0,478278.story

Louisiana Tax Dollars at Work: Training Teachers to Administer High-Stakes Tests Which Grade Their “Effectiveness”

http://wwno.org/post/back-school-training-teachers-give-high-stakes-tests

http://wwno.org/post/behind-test-using-test-scores-grade-teachers

Why Standardized Testing is Ruining Maine Schools, Hurting Our Kids

https://bangordailynews.com/2014/05/08/opinion/why-standardized-testing-is-ruining-our-schools-hurting-our-kids/

Massachusetts Teachers Union Elects Strong Foe of High-Stakes Testing as President

http://www.gazettenet.com/home/11920874-95/barbara-madeloni-of-northampton-foe-of-standardized-testing-elected-president-of-110000-member-massa

A Fairer Test Score Measure for Massachusetts

http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2014/05/06/fairer-test-score-measure/sjpTO5mv9hldIrfUxLC2rJ/story.html

Common Core Field Testing Seen as Another Unfunded Massachusetts State Mandate

http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140509/PUB04/405080312/1040

Parents Boycott New Jersey ASK Test

http://tri.gmnews.com/news/2014-05-08/Opinion/Parents_boycott_NJ_ASK_test.html

How to Refuse New Jersey Tests for Your Child

http://thealternativepress.com/articles/misinformation-and-half-truths-is-this-what-we-h

Student: Standardized Tests Taking a Toll in New Mexico Classrooms

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/life/teen/are-standardized-exams-taking-a-toll-in-the-classroom/article_c0064cf3-f1d4-5576-bca7-1b7747a2bd44.html

A Conversation About Tests New York Teachers Can’t Have

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/07/nyregion/principals-want-to-complain-about-new-york-state-tests-but-explanations-have-to-wait.html

The Pseudo-Science of New York’s Common Core Tests

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alan-singer/common-core-pseudoscience_b_5280441.html

Ohio Teachers Seek Three-Year Delay in High-Stakes Testing

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2014/05/10/ohio-teachers-union-wants-delay-in-high-stakes-testing.html

Oklahoma Legislature Passes Bill Giving Parents a Voice in Overruling Grade Promotion Test

http://kfor.com/2014/05/12/bill-passes-giving-parents-and-teachers-a-voice-in-3rd-grade-reading-test/

Testing Expert: Oregon’s Assessments Should Be Designed by Local Educators

http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2014/05/student_assessments_should_be.html

Oregon Teachers Seek Common Core Testing Moratorium

http://www.oregonlive.com/education/index.ssf/2014/05/oregon_teachers_union_calls_fo.html

They’ll Never Catch Pennsylvania’s Worst Test Cheating Culprits — Politicians Who Mandate High-Stakes Exams

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/attytood/Theyll-never-catch-the-real-culprits.html#IQAktHH1XgkwVvho.99

Philadelphia “Culture of Cheating” Reflects Standardized Exam Misuse

http://news.yahoo.com/principal-teachers-face-criminal-charges-philadelphia-test-scandal-202509850.html

Different Value-Added Systems Produce Wide-Range of Results in Pittsburgh Schools

http://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2014/05/12/Pittsburgh-Public-Schools-state-use-different-formulas-to-calculate-value-added-by-schools/stories/201405120068

Rhode Island School Board Resists Mounting Pressure to End Graduation Test

http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20140512-r.i.-board-of-education-stays-with-necap-as-graduation-requirement.ece

Nashville Tennessee to Take Up Anti-Testing Resolution

http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/education/2014/05/09/nashville-board-will-take-anti-testing-measure/8903165/

Another Test Cheating Probe in the Home of the “Texas Miracle” Which Begat “No Child Left Behind”

http://blog.chron.com/k12zone/2014/05/teachers-at-2nd-hisd-school-face-firing-in-cheating-probe/

Texas Teacher Evaluation Earns a Failing Grade

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/opinion/outlook/article/Lee-Sridharan-Sung-HISD-gets-a-failing-gradede-5460933.php

Are Texas Children Allowed to Read for Pleasure Any More?

http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/news/2014/may/10/ys_education_matters_051114_239099/?features

Virginia Parents Start Organizing Opt Out Campaign

http://www.nbc12.com/story/25497436/sol-opt-out

How NCLB Waiver Revocation Will Hurt Washington State Schools

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/05/08/how-students-will-be-affected-by-federal-revocation-of-washingtons-nclb-waiver/

Obama-Duncan Testing Policies Contradict Their Own High-Sounding Statements

http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2014/05/06/tm-ntoy-obama-evaluation.html?cmp=ENL-EU-NEWS2

New Study Casts Doubt on Rating Teachers by Students’ Test Scores

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/good-teaching-poor-test-scores-doubt-cast-on-grading-teachers-by-student-performance/2014/05/12/96d94812-da07-11e3-bda1-9b46b2066796_story.html

Standardized Testing Focus is Part of 19th Century Model of Education

http://www.centredaily.com/2014/05/13/4176028/henry-g-brzycki-why-standardized.html?sp=/99/145/

Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director
FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing
office- (239) 395-6773 fax- (239) 395-6779
mobile- (239) 696-0468
web- http://www.fairtest.org

Published in: on May 13, 2014 at 1:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

A fact-based critique of “Waiting for Superman”

This distorted documentary came out a few years ago but a lot of people still think its claims are accurate. Here Leonie Hemson (sp?) deals with one of its claims.

http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/802900

Published in: on April 21, 2014 at 4:36 pm  Comments (1)  

Teachers at a PA cyber-charter school vote to unionize

About time. (The e-school’s CEO was recently indicted for fraud, too!)

http://mobile.edweek.org/c.jsp?DISPATCHED=true&cid=25983841&item=http%3A%2F%2Fblogs.edweek.org%2Fedweek%2FDigitalEducation%2F2014%2F04%2Fcyber_charter_teachers_in_pa_v.html%3Fcmp%3DENL-EU-NEWS3

Published in: on April 21, 2014 at 4:24 pm  Leave a Comment  

A DC teacher’s real accomplishments

As opposed to the fictitious ones of Michelle Rhee:

http://teachateacher.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/part-iii-of-no-more-the-best-thing-i-ever-did-as-a-teacher/

Published in: on April 20, 2014 at 2:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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