This is a list of the blogs maintained at the present time by some fellow-activist teachers and others.
This is a list of the blogs maintained at the present time by some fellow-activist teachers and others.
|BLOGGER NAME||BLOG NAME||BLOG WEBSITE|
|A Teacher on Teaching||A Teacher on Teaching||http://ateacheronteaching.blogspot.com/|
|Aaron Barlow||Aaron Barlow||http://academeblog.org/author/aaronbarlow/ or http://audsandens.blogspot.com/|
|Accountable Talk||Accountable Talk||http://www.accountabletalk.com/|
|Adam Bessie||Automated Teaching Machine||http://adambessie.com/|
|Alan Singer||Alan Singer||http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alan-singer/|
|Alexandra Miletta||Alexandra Miletta||http://alexandramiletta.blogspot.com|
|Alice Mercer||Reflections on Teaching||http://mizmercer.edublogs.org|
|Allan Jones||Allan Jones||https://www.facebook.com/groups/1398276720427252/|
|Amy Moore||Amy Moore||http://www.desmoinesregister.com/topic/065294af-047d-4b86-beb4-0d401eb82096/|
|Andy Spears||Tennessee Education Report||http://tnedreport.com/|
|Ann Policelli Cronin||Ann Policelli Cronin||http://reallearningct.com/|
|Anne Tenaglia||Teacher’s Lessons Learned||http://teacherslessonslearned.blogspot.com/|
|Anthony Cody||Anthony Cody||http://www.livingindialogue.com/|
|Arthur Getzel||The Public Educator (aka liberalteacher)||http://thepubliceducator.com/|
|Arthur H. Camins||Arthur H. Camins||http://www.arthurcamins.com/|
|Aurelio M. Montemayor||Parent Leadership in Education||http://parentleadershipined.blogspot.com/|
|Badass Teachers Association (Marla Kilfoyle, Melissa Tomlinson)||Badass Teachers Association||http://badassteachers.blogspot.com/ and http://www.badassteacher.org/|
|Barbara Madeloni||Educators for a Democratic Union||http://www.educatorsforademocraticunion.com/|
|Betsy Combier||Parent Advocatees||http://www.parentadvocates.org/|
|Big Education Ape||Big Education Ape||http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/|
|Bill Betzen||School Achieve Project||http://schoolarchiveproject.blogspot.com/|
|Bob Sikes||Scathing Purple Musings||http://bobsidlethoughtsandmusings.wordpress.com/|
|Bonnie Cunard||Continuing Change||http://gatorbonbc.wordpress.com/ orhttp://bonniecunardmargolin.weebly.com/|
|Brett Bymaster||Stop Rocketship||http://www.stoprocketship.com|
|Brett Dickerson||Life At the Intersections||http://www.brettdickerson.net/|
|Brian Cohen||Making the grade blog||http://www.bncohen.com/|
|Bruce Baker||School Finance 101||http://schoolfinance101.wordpress.com/|
|Bruce Bowers||Reflections on teaching and learning||www.tremphil.com|
|Carol Burris||Carol Burris||http://roundtheinkwell.com/ and Answer Sheet|
|Chaz||Chaz’s School Daze||http://chaz11.blogspot.com/|
|Chris Cerrone||Children should not be a number||http://www.nystoptesting.com/|
|Chris Thinnes||Chris Thinnes||http://chris.thinnes.me|
|Christopher Martell||On Social Studies and Education||http://christophermartell.blogspot.com|
|Christopher Tienken||Christopher Tienken||http://christienken.com/blog/|
|Christopher Wooleyhand||Common Sense School Leadership||http://christopherwooleyhand.edublogs.org|
|Claudia Swisher||Claudia Swisher||http://fourthgenerationteacher.blogspot.com/|
|Cynthia Liu||K12NN News Network||http://k12newsnetwork.com/|
|Dan McConnell||Truth and Consequences||http://dan-mcconnell.blogspot.com/|
|Daniel Katz||Daniel Katz||http://danielskatz.net/|
|Darcie Cimarusti||Mother Crusader||http://mothercrusader.blogspot.com/|
|David Chura||Kids in the System||http://kidsinthesystem.wordpress.com/|
|David Cohen||InterACT: Accomplished California Teacher||http://accomplishedcaliforniateachers.wordpress.com/|
|David Ellison||A Teacher’s Mark’s||http://ateachersmarks.blogspot.com/|
|David Greene||DCG MENTORING||https://dcgmentor.wordpress.com|
|Debbie Forward||PFF Faculty Lounge||http://pfffacultylounge.wordpress.com/|
|Deborah McCallum||Big Ideas in Education||http://bigideasineducation.ca/|
|Deborah Meier||Deborah Meier||http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/Bridging-Differences/|
|Demian Godon||Reconsidering TFA||https://reconsideringtfa.wordpress.com/|
|Derek Black||Education Law Prof Blog||http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/education_law/|
|Diane Aoki||The Teacher I Want to Be||http://dianeaoki.blogspot.com/|
|Diane Ravitch||Diane Ravitch||http://dianeravitch.net|
|DOE Nutes||DOE Nuts Blog||http://nycdoenuts.blogspot.com/|
|Don Russell||Lifting The Curtain||http://liftingthecurtainoneducation.wordpress.com/|
|Dora Taylor||Seattle Education||http://seattleducation2010.wordpress.com/|
|Doug Martin||Doug Martin||http://www.schoolsmatter.info/|
|Edward Berger||Edward Berger||http://edwardfberger.com/|
|Elizabeth Rose||Yo Miz||http://yomizthebook.com/|
|Francesco Portelos||Educator Fights Back or Don’t Tread on Educators||http://dtoe.org/ or http://protectportelos.org/|
|Fred Klonsky||Fred Klonsky||http://preaprez.wordpress.com/|
|Gary Rubinstein||Gary Rubinstein||https://garyrubinstein.wordpress.com/|
|Gene Glass||Education in Two Words||http://ed2worlds.blogspot.com/|
|George Schmidt||Substance News||http://www.substancenews.net/|
|George Wood||George Wood||http://www.essentialschools.org/|
|Gerri Songer||Gerri Song||http://gerriksonger.wordpress.com/|
|Glen Brown||Teacher Poet Musician||http://teacherpoetmusicianglenbrown.blogspot.com/|
|Good Morning Art Teacher||Good Morning Art Teacher||http://goodmorningartteacher.blogspot.com/|
|Guy Brandenburg||Guy Brandenburg||https://gfbrandenburg.wordpress.com/|
|Helen Gym||Philadelphia Public School Notebook||http://thenotebook.org/blog|
|Jack McKay||Horace Mann League Blog||http://blog.hmleague.org/|
|James Arnold||Dr. James Arnold||http://drjamesarnold.blogspot.com/|
|James Avington Miller, Jr||The War Report on Public Education||http://thewarreportonpubliceducation.wordpress.com and http://bbsradio.com/thewarreport|
|James Boutin||An Urban Teachers Education||http://www.anurbanteacherseducation.com/|
|James Chascherrie||Stop Common Core in Washington State||http://stopcommoncorewa.wordpress.com/|
|James Hamric||Hammy’s Education Blog||http://edreformblog.wordpress.com/|
|Jan Resseger||Jan Resseger||http://janresseger.wordpress.com/|
|Jane Nixon Willis||Staying Strong in School||http://stayingstronginschool.blogspot.com/|
|Jason France||Crazy Crawfish||http://crazycrawfish.wordpress.com/|
|Jason L. Endacott||EduSanity||http://www.edusanity.com/|
|Jason Stanford||Jason Stanford||http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jason-stanford/|
|Jeff Bryant||Jeff Bryant||http://educationopportunitynetwork.org/|
|Jen Hogue||V.A.M. It!||http://valueaddedmeasureit.blogspot.com/|
|Jesse Hagopian||Jesse Hagopian||http://iamaneducator.com/|
|Jill Conroy||The Indignant Teacher||http://theindignantteacher.wordpress.com/|
|Jo Lieb||Poetic Justice||http://poeticjusticect.com/|
|Joe Bower||For the love of learning||http://www.joebower.org/|
|John J. Viall||A Teacher on Teaching||http://ateacheronteaching.blogspot.com/|
|John Young||Transparent Christina||http://transparentchristina.wordpress.com/|
|Jonathan Lovell||Jonathan Lovell’s Blog||http://jonathanlovell.blogspot.com/|
|Jonathan Pelto||Wait, What?||http://jonathanpelto.com/|
|Jose Vilson||Jose Vilson||http://thejosevilson.com/|
|Joshua Block||Joshua Block||http://mrjblock.com/|
|Julian Vasquez Heilig||Cloaking Inquity||http://cloakinginequity.com/|
|Justin Aion||Relearning to Teach||http://relearningtoteach.blogspot.com/|
|Karren Harper Royal||Edutalknola||http://edutalknola.com/|
|Katie Lapham||Critical Classrooms||https://criticalclassrooms.wordpress.com/|
|Ken Derstine||Defend Public Education||http://www.defendpubliceducation.net/|
|Ken Previti||Reclaim Reform||http://reclaimreform.com/|
|Kenneth Bernstein||Teacher Ken||http://www.dailykos.com/user/teacherken|
|Kevin Welner||Kevin Welner||http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kevin-welner/ andhttp://nepc.colorado.edu|
|Lani Cox||The Missing Teacher||http://lanivcox.blogspot.com/|
|Larry Cuban||Larry Cuban||http://larrycuban.wordpress.com/|
|Larry Feinberg||Keystone State Education Coalition||http://keystonestateeducationcoalition.blogspot.com/|
|Leonie Haimson||Class Size Matters||http://nycpublicschoolparents.blogspot.com/|
|Levi B Cavener||Idahospromise||http://idahospromise.org/|
|Linda Thomas||Restore Reason||http://restorereason.com/|
|Lloyd Lofthouse||Crazy Normal the classroom expose||http://crazynormaltheclassroomexpose.com/ or http://lloydlofthouse.org/|
|Lucianna Sanson||The War Report on Public Education||https://thewarreportonpubliceducation.wordpress.com/|
|M. Shannon Hernandez||My Final 40 Days||http://myfinal40days.com/|
|Maria Rosa||THE INSURGENT TEACHER BLOG||http://theinsurgentteacher.blogspot.com/|
|Marie Corfield||Marie Corfield||http://mcorfield.blogspot.com/|
|Marion Brady||Marion Brady||http://www.marionbrady.com/|
|Mark Naison||With a Brooklyn Accent and Dump Duncan||http://withabrooklynaccent.blogspot.com/ and http://dumpduncan.org/|
|Mark Weber||Jersey Jazzman||http://jerseyjazzman.blogspot.com/|
|Martha Infante||Martha Infante||http://dontforgetsouthcentral.blogspot.com/|
|Matt Farmer||Matt Farmer||http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matt-farmer/|
|Mel Katz||The Education Activist: From Student to Teacher||https://theeducationactivist.wordpress.com/|
|Melissa Westbrook||Seattle Schools Community Forum||http://saveseattleschools.blogspot.com/|
|Michael Klonsky||Michael Klonsky||http://michaelklonsky.blogspot.com/ and http://schoolingintheownershipsociety.blogspot.com/|
|Michelle Gunderson||Education Matters||https://www.facebook.com/michelle.gunderson.education.matters|
|Mike Deshotels||Louisiana Educator||http://louisianaeducator.blogspot.com/|
|Mike Rose||Mike Rose’s Blog||http://mikerosebooks.blogspot.com|
|Mike Warner||Education Under Attack||http://educationunderattack.info/|
|Morna McDermott||Education Alchemy||http://www.educationalchemy.com/|
|Mrs. Fanning||LA Woman||http://fanninglawoman.blogspot.com/|
|Ms Kate||Ms Katie’s Ramblings||http://mskatiesramblings.blogspot.com/|
|Nancy Bailey||Nancy Bailey’s Education Website||http://nancyebailey.com/|
|Nancy Flanagan||Teacher in a Strange Land||http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/teacher_in_a_strange_land/|
|Nicholas Tampio||Nicholas Tampio||http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nicholas-tampio/|
|Nikhil Goyal||Nikhil Goyal||http://nikhilgoyal.me/|
|Norm Scott||Ed Notes Online||http://ednotesonline.blogspot.com/|
|Ogo Okoye-Johnson||Ogo Okoye-Johnson||http://ogookoye-johnson.net/|
|OK Education Truth||okeducationtruths||http://okeducationtruths.wordpress.com/|
|Outside The Box||Outside the Box||http://teacher-anon.blogspot.com/|
|Paul Horton||Education News||http://www.educationviews.org/author/paulh/|
|Paul Thomas||The becoming radical||http://radicalscholarship.wordpress.com/|
|Peggy Robertson||Peg with Pen||http://www.pegwithpen.com/|
|Perdido St School||Perdido St School||http://perdidostreetschool.blogspot.com/|
|Peter DeWitt||Peter DeWitt||http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/|
|Peter Goodman||Ed in the Apple||http://mets2006.wordpress.com/|
|Phillip Cantor||Sustainable Education Transformation||http://phillipcantor.com/|
|Rachael Stickland||Student Privacy Matters||http://www.studentprivacymatters.org/|
|Rachel Levy||All Things Education||http://allthingsedu.blogspot.com/|
|Ralph Ratto||Opine I will||http://rlratto.wordpress.com/|
|Ray Salazar||The White Rino||http://www.chicagonow.com/white-rhino|
|Rob Miller||View From the Edge||http://www.viewfromtheedge.net/|
|Rob Panning-Miller||Public Education Justice Alliance of Minnesota||http://pejamn.blogspot.com/|
|Robert Cotto Jr.||The Cities, Suburbs & Schools Project||http://commons.trincoll.edu/cssp/|
|Robert D. Skeels||Solidaridad||http://rdsathene.blogspot.com/|
|Russ Walsh||Russ on Reading||http://russonreading.blogspot.com/|
|Ruth Conniff||Public School Shakedown||http://www.publicschoolshakedown.org/|
|Sam Chaltain||Sam Chaltain||http://www.samchaltain.com|
|Sara Roos||Sara Roos||http://redqueeninla.com/|
|Sarah Blaine||Parenting the core||http://parentingthecore.wordpress.com/|
|Sarah Darer Littman||Sarah Darer Littman||http://www.ctnewsjunkie.com|
|Sarah Lahm||Sarah Lahm||http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/eyes-education|
|Save Public Education||Save Public Education|
|Sharon Higgins||Charter School Scandals||http://charterschoolscandals.blogspot.com/|
|Shaun Johnson||Chalk Face||http://atthechalkface.com/|
|Sherman Dorn||Sherman Dorn||http://shermandorn.com/wordpress/|
|South Bronx School||South Bronx School||http://www.southbronxschool.com/|
|Stephanie Rivera||Teacher Under Construction||http://teacherunderconstruction.com/|
|Stephen Dyer||10th Period||http://10thperiod.blogspot.com/|
|Stephen Krashen||Stephen Krashen||http://www.schoolsmatter.info/ and http://skrashen.blogspot.com/|
|Steve Hinnefeld||Steve Hinnefeld||http://inschoolmatters.wordpress.com/|
|Steve O’Donoghue||Steve O’Donogue||http://www.counterintuitive.com/|
|Steve Strieker||One Teachers Perspective||http://oneteachersperspective.blogspot.com/|
|Steven Singer||Gad Fly On the Wall Blog||http://gadflyonthewallblog.wordpress.com/|
|Stu Bloom||Live Long and Prsoper||http://bloom-at.blogspot.com/|
|Sullio||The Pen is Mightier than the Person||http://sullio.blogspot.com/|
|Susan DuFresne||Educating the Gates Foundation||http://educatingthegatesfoundation.com/|
|Susan DuFresne and Katie Lapham||Teachers Letters to Bill Gates||http://teachersletterstobillgates.com/|
|Susan Ohanian||Susan Ohanian||http://www.susanohanian.org/|
|TC||Dad Gone Wild||http://norinrad10.wordpress.com/|
|Teacher Reality||Teacher Reality||http://teacherreality.com/|
|Teacher Tom||Teacher Tom||http://teachertomsblog.blogspot.com/|
|Ted Cohen||Newark Schools For Sale||http://NewarkSchoolsForSale.wordpress.com|
|The Assailed Teacher||http://theassailedteacher.com/|
|The Teaching Nomad||The Teaching Nomad||www.theteachingnomad.com/blog|
|Tim Slekar||Busted Pencils||http://bustedpencils.com/|
|Tom Aswell||Louisiana Voice||http://louisianavoice.com/|
|Tracy Novick||Who-cester Blog||http://who-cester.blogspot.com/|
|Ty Alper||Ty Alper (SF School Board candidate)||http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ty-alper/ or http://www.tyalper.org|
|Urban Ed||Urban Ed||http://nycurbaned.blogspot.com/|
|Vanessa Vaile||Precarious Faculty Blog||http://www.precariousfacultyblog.com/ or http://nationalmobilizationforequity.org/|
|Wag the Dog||Wag the Dog||http://vigornotrigor.wordpress.com/|
|Walt Gardner||Walt Garnder||http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/walt_gardners_reality_check/|
|Wayne Gersen||Network Schools||http://waynegersen.com/|
|Wendy Lecker||Wendy Lecker||http://www.stamfordadvocate.com|
|Xian Barrett||Xian Barrett||http://newvoicestrategies.org/|
|Yohuru Williams||Yohuru Williams||http://www.yohuruwilliams.net/|
|Yong Zhao||Education in the Age of Globalization||http://zhaolearning.com|
Wonderful quote from a review about a book promoting Rocketship charter schools:
“I have a few questions and a challenge for Danner, his wealthy education ‘reform’ compatriots and their unquestioning supporters like Whitmire:
“1. Would you send your own children to Rocketship (or KIPP, ASPIRE, YES Prep, Success Academy, etc.)?
“2. Would you recommend such schools to your other elite and wealthy friends?
“3. Do you plan to hire graduates of such schools for your own companies?
“Challenge: If you really care about poor students of color, why don’t you work to make their schools look more like the schools you send your own children to?”
Did you wonder what that meant?
The short answer is: those scores have essentially not changed since they began giving the tests! Not for the kids at the top of the testing heap, not for those at the bottom, not for blacks, not for whites, not for hispanics.
No change, nada, zip.
Not even after a full dozen years of Bush’s looney No Child Left Behind Act, nor its twisted Obama-style descendant, Race to the
I took a look at the official reports and I’ve plotted them here you can see how little effect all those billions spent on testing; firing veteran teachers; writing and publishing new tests and standards; and opening thousands of charter schools has had.
Here are the tables:
This first graph shows that other than a slight widening of the gap between the kids at the top (at the 90th percentile) and those at the bottom (at the 10th percentile) back in the early 1990s, there has been essentially no change in the average scores over the past two full decades.
I think we can assume that the test makers, who are professional psychometricians and not political appointees, tried their very best to make the test of equal difficulty every year. So those flat lines mean that there has been no change, despite all the efforts of the education secretaries of Clinton, Bush 2, and Obama. And despite the wholesale replacement of an enormous fraction of the nation’s teachers, and the handing over of public education resources to charter school operators.
This next graph shows much the same thing, but the data is broken down into ethnic/racial groups. Again, these lines are about as flat (horizontal) as you will ever see in the social sciences,
However, I think it’s instructive to note that the gap between, say, Hispanic and Black students on the one hand, and White and Asian students on the other, is much smaller than the gap between the 10th and 90th percentiles we saw in the very first graph: about 30 points as opposed to almost 100 points.
The third graph shows the NAEP math scores for 12th graders since 2005, since that was the first time that the test was given. The psychometricians atNAEP claim there has been a :statistically significant” change since 2005 in some of those scores, but I don’t really see it. Being “statistically significant’ and being REALLY significant are two different things.
*Note: the 12th grade Math NAEP was given for the first time in 2005, unlike the 12th grade reading test.
And here we have the same data broken down by ethnic/racial groups. Since 2009 there has been essentially no change, and there was precious little before that, except for Asian students.
Diane Ravitch correctly dismissed all of this as a sign that everything that Rod Paige, Margaret Spellings and Arne Duncan have done, is a complete and utter failure. Her conclusion, which I agree with, is that NCLB and RTTT need to be thrown out.
This comment was posted yesterday:
I am a former, part time item writer for a private testing company; I wrote for many different state standards under NCLB. I must say that poorly constructed, confusing, or developmentally inappropriate items undermine the validity of standardized scores and subsequent use in teacher evaluation. When standardized tests are properly constructed, such items which might make it to a field test will almost certainly be vetted during what is typically a two year process. Many items on the Pearson math and ELA administered last April here in NY were written, in my opinion, in an intentionally confusing style using obtuse or arcane vocabulary. The ELA test in particular included confusing item stems and distractors that were not clearly wrong. There were far too many items that turned subjective opinions (most likely; best; author’s intent; etc.) into a “one right, three wrong” format. Many teachers were unsure of the correct answers on a number of vague and fuzzy items.
Almost everyone agrees that high-stakes testing for little children is a huge mistake. The parents not only wrote their elected officials, they took direct action.
More than 80% of the parents of the children at the Castle Bridge Elementary School in New York City refused to allow their children to be tested.
They opted out.
The tests were canceled.
NO TESTS. NONE!
The parents knew that the only purpose of the tests was to evaluate the teachers, not the children.
Most Castle Bridge School parents — representing 83 of the 97 students — refused to permit their children to be tested.
“My feeling about testing kids as young as 4 is it’s inhumane,” said PTA co-chairwoman Dao Tran, mother of first-grader Quyen Lamphere, 5. “I can only see it causing stress.”
The state now requires schools to factor test scores — in one form or another — into their teacher evaluations, which are new this year in the city.
The parents thought the testing was absurd.
As the Daily News reported earlier this month, such exams, given to kids as young as 4, require students to fill in bubbles to show their answers.
It’s like the SAT for kids barely older than toddlers. And parents resent it.
“Our principal does a good job,” said PTA co-chairwoman Elexis Pujolos, mother of kindergartner Daeja, 4, and first-grader AJ, 6. “A test could not possibly measure what she is able to.”
Principal Julie Zuckerman canceled the required tests because the scores wouldn’t provide statistically meaningful data once so many parents opted out.
She also hates judging teachers even partly on the basis of a test.
“It can’t be used as evaluation tool of teachers even if it were a valid test — which it’s not,” she said.
If all parents did this, they could stop the testing madness that is ruining education and children’s love of learning.
If it can happen at Castle Bridge, it can happen anywhere!
Without data, the giant testing machine can’t function. The children can learn stress-free. Education becomes possible.
Message: OPT OUT.
I am reprinting a column from Diane Ravitch that consists of a letter from single, anonymous teacher detailing what is wrong with the charter chain that he/she works for, and why that chain should not be allowed to expand.
Very simple: it’s not good for students, and it’s hell for teachers, but it’s very profitable for the chain’s management.
There need to be more such letters.
Here’s the column:
New post on Diane Ravitch’s blog
For a clear summary of the evidence showing that not a single one of the currently fashionable methods of ‘reforming’ public education has worked, then read the first twenty chapters of the latest book by Diane Ravitch, “Reign of Error”, published today by A.A. Knopf.
This book gratifies me because it lays out in a concise and organized manner much of what I and a number of other education bloggers have been trying to point out for the last four or five years. Ravitch’s clear prose is a masterful summary of the evidence that the bipartisan “reforms” being committed against public education are not only ineffective by the yardsticks held up by these ‘reformers’, but are also resegregating our schools and foisting an inferior education onto our poorest kids.
On the other hand, if you prefer to see a clearly-laid out set of suggestions for a more sensible way to fix our school system, then this is still the right book to read! In chapters 21 through 33, she lays out a logical and sensible way to really fix our schools.
Keep in mind, as you read the book, that the “reformers” of public education have been in charge in some of our largest cities for about 20 years now. For example, Paul Vallas ran Chicago Public Schools from 1995-2001, and Arne Duncan ran them from 2001-2009; since then they are under the control of mayor Rahm Emanuel. They did such a WONDERFUL job that Chicago just found it necessary to close down dozens of schools and fire thousands of teachers and other employees. Joel Klein ran New York City’s public schools from 2002 to his departure to head Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp. Michelle Rhee and her crony Kaya Henderson have run DC Public Schools since 2007.
Those school systems remain in crisis, despite the claims of our wealthiest citizens (Bill Gates, the Koch brothers, the Walton family and a bevy of hedge fund managers) that those leaders were producing piles of ‘excellence’ while having almost no teaching experience or school leadership credentials.
If you doubt my claims, all you need to do is look at the graphs and tables in Ravitch’s appendices.
It stokes by own vanity to find a couple of my own blog columns cited on pages 150-151, wherein I had delved into the data on Michelle Rhee’s mythical successes in Baltimore from 1992-1995.
(Rhee has since admitted making the numbers up, but chuckled that they didn’t matter. She has no shame! I also discovered that a possible reason for the increases that were noted at her school and grade level may have been due to two facts: (1) Her school and her grade had one of the greatest attrition rates over those two years of any of the schools in the study; and (2) her grade at her school also had one of the largest percentages of students who scored so low on the CTBS that their scores weren’t even counted!)
Here are the headings and summaries for chapters 5 – 20 of Reign of Error:
5: The Facts About Test Scores
Claim: Test scores are falling, and the educational system is broken and obsolete.
Reality: Test scores are a their highest point ever recorded.
6: The Facts About the Achievement Gap
Claim: The achievement gaps are large and getting worse.
Reality: We have made genuine progress in narrowing the achievement gap, but they will remain large if we do nothing about the causes of the gaps.
7. The Facts About the International Test Scores
Claim: We are falling behind other nations, putting our economy and our national economy at risk.
Reality: An old lament, not true then, not true now.
8. The Facts About High School Graduation Rates
Claim: The nation has a dropout crisis, and high school graduation rates are falling.
Reality: High school dropouts are at an all-time low, and high school graduation rates are at an all-time high.
9. The Facts About College Graduation Rates
Claim: Our economy will suffer unless we have the highest college graduation rates in the world.
Reality: There is no basis for this claim.
10. How Poverty Affects Academic Achievement
Claim: Poverty is an excuse for ineffective teaching and failing schools.
Reality: Poverty is highly correlated with low academic achievement.
11. The Facts About Teachers and Test Scores
Claim: Teachers determine student test scores, and test scores may be used to identify and reward effective teachers and to fire those who are not effective.
Reality: Test scores are not the best way to identify the best teachers.
12. Why Merit Pay Fails
Claim: Merit pay will improve achievement.
Reality: Merit pay has never improved achievement.
13. Do Teachers Need Tenure and Seniority?
Claim: Schools will improve if tenure and seniority are abolished.
Reality: There is no basis for this claim.
14. The Problem with Teach for America
Claim: Teach for America recruits teachers and leaders whose high expectations will one day ensure that every child has an excellent education.
Reality: Teach for America sends bright young people into tough classrooms where they get about the same results as other bright young people in similar classrooms but leave the profession sooner.
15. The Mystery of Michelle Rhee
(no sub-headings for this chapter)
16. The Contradictions of Charters
Claim: Charter schools will revolutionize American education by thei freedom to innovate and produce dramatically better results.
Reality: Charter schools run the gamut from excellent to awful and are, on average, no more innovative or successful than public schools.
17. Trouble in E-Land
Claim: Virtual schools will the promise of personalized, customized learning to every student and usher in an age of educational excellence for all.
Reality: Virtual schools are cash cows for their owners but poor substitutes for real teachers and real schools.
18. Parent Trigger, Parent Tricker
Claim: If parents seize control of their school, they can make it better.
Reality: There is no evidence for this claim.
19. The Failure of Vouchers
Claim: Students who receive vouchers for private and religious schools will experience dramatic success.
Reality: There is no evidence for this claim.
20. Schools Don’t Improve if They Are Closed
Claim: Schools can be dramatically improved by firing the principal, firing half or all of the teaches, or closing the school and starting fresh.
Reality: There is no evidence for this claim.
Next, I’ll give the headings of the chapters laying out solutions.
Just received my copy of Diane Ravitch’s book!! Doesn’t officially get published until 9-17-13, i think she wrote on her blog.
Let me say that DR does an extremely good job of keeping up with the educational nonsense being peddled by some of her old friends and associates in today’s bipartisan, fully billionaire-led AstroTurf movement to destroy and resegregate our public school while profiting mightily.
I highly recommend subscribing to her blog. She is amazingly productive. I do not think she has much time in her life for anything except blogging. I blog and write a fair amount, but I cannot put out a single post each day–it takes time, and I am very appreciative of her writings. She puts out up to ten posts a day!! Wow!!
When I started writing my DC-based blog back in mid-2009, after I retired, and began researching more of the plain facts here on the ground in Washington under michelle Rhee’s initial “Reign of Error”, it was pretty lonely.
I was nonetheless able to find the original records showing that a very large fraction of the very detailed statements on Michelle Rhee’s official public résumé were 100% fictitious.
I was able to show that Rhee’s policies in many, many areas while she waschancellor here in my hometown have produced exactly NONE of the miraculous gains that she predicted. And while she at one point boasted very confidently of her ability to pick winning principals in a 5-minute I yet view, she later admitted that this was in fact one of the worst aspects of her legacy. And the Harvard whiz kid measuring the effects of her attempt to purchase good behavior fr middle schools produced results no different from not doing so; and when the same academic (Roland Frye) studied Rhee’s vaunted merit pay in other cities, he found it made no difference either.
I was able to show that there was almost no effect on test scores (almost the ONLY way to test educational outcomes in her eyes) from switching out principals and teachers.
Now I find I can relax a bit. There are literally hundreds of bloggers and columnists making much of the same points I was making. I don’t feel so lonely any more.
Thank you, Diane and all of the other bloggers!!
Unlike some, I will read at least most of her latest book before writing a review. I predict I will like it.
Diane Ravitch has a worthwhile entry on the survey that’s in today’s news — the one from the self-named NCTQ (National Center for Teacher Quality).
That’s the report that gave most of the US teacher-training schools very low marks.
I read the report in the Post, twice, once online and once in the form of black marks on paper (remember those?).
I thought it strange that the authors of the NCTQ report had visited exactly none of the actual colleges or universities that they were supposedly surveying, nor talked to any of the professors, nor even to any of the students in those programs (past or current), nor made any effort to find out what fraction of their graduates were even still teaching after some number of years later.
Diane’s analysis explained why. And she in fact knows it quite well: she herself used to be on the board of that organization, back when she herself used to be a right-wing educational ideologue under the leadership of Rodney Page, George Bush and other, similar lying creeps. (We all should be amazed at the complete, 180-degree about-face Ravitch has undergone — not very often that anybody does that!)
As it is, she is performing a very valuable service, and has been doing so for a little more than a year IIRC.
I thought it worthwhile to repost her entire post. I don’t often do that. I’ve accentuated a small part of her piece.
Apparently, according to Diane, the only thing that the NCTQ was looking for was the fraction of course syllabi that mention or emphasize “Common Core”. Sheesh.
The just-released NCTQ report on teacher education gives an F to the nation’s colleges of education. It was published in association with U.S. News & World Report.
But the report itself deserves an F.
To begin with, there are professional associations that rate the nation’s education schools, based on site visits and clear criteria.
NCTQ is not a professional association. It did not make site visits. It made its harsh judgments by reviewing course syllabi and catalogs. The criteria that it rated as most important was the institution’s fidelity to the Common Core standards.
As Rutgers’ Bruce Baker pointed out in his response, NCTQ boasts of its regard for teachers but its review of the nation’s teacher-training institutions says nothing about faculty. They don’t matter. They are irrelevant. All that matters is what is in the course catalog.
There are many reasons not to trust the NCTQ report on teacher education. Most important is that it lacks credibility. Not only is it not a professional association. it lacks independence. It has an agenda.
NCTQ was founded by the conservative Thomas B. Fordham Foundation in 2000 with the explicit purpose of harassing institutions of teacher education and urging alternative arrangements. I was on the board at the time. Initially, the new organization floundered but was saved by a $5 million grant from U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige. Just lucky.
So, knowing NCTQ’s history, and reading Mercedes Schneider’s posts about the organization, I conclude that NCTQ cannot be considered a fair, credible, independent judge of the quality of teacher training institutions.
I certainly agree that some such institutions are weak and inadequate, though I don’t think NCTQ’s superficial methodology identifies them.
I also agree with the report’s recommendation that teacher education institutions should have higher standards for admission.
But I don’t agree that the mark of a great education school is how many courses it offers on the Common Core standards or how attentive it is to raising test scores..
The great Robert Hutchins once wrote that the purpose of a professional school is to teach students to criticize the profession. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the profession would prepare them to make it stronger. The NCTQ report–looking at education schools from a mountain top–would have them conform to the status quo, to the conventional wisdom. This is not a prescription for the future, nor for the creation of a profession of strong teachers. It is a prescription for docility and conformity. Robert Hutchins would not approve.
It is useful to look at the lies coming out of the mouth of Michelle Rhee, one of the main proponents of destroying public education. I just took down, verbatim, what Rhee said at a panel discussion chaired by Henry Louis Gates at Martha’s Vineyard in 2011. (Diane Ravitch was also on the panel.) How many lies, prevarications, and half-truths can you spot?
Here is the passage, starting at 11:22 on this Youtube video where MR is speaking her platitudes:
We as educators have not created a great case for ourselves. We have more than doubled the amount of money that we are spending per child over the last two [few? gfb] decades, and the results have not gotten better. Now if we had doubled the expenditures and the results had doubled as well, then that would have made a very easy case for us to go to politicians and say “If you cut our budget by this much then this is what will suffer,” but we haven’t done that. And you have school districts like Washington, DC and Newark where they are spending $22,000 a year per child, and the results are absolutely in the bottom of this nation. So we’re, it, it, to me the first order of operation is less about more money because I think that more money into a broken system is not going to deliver a different result. I think we have to change the fundamentals of how this system is working. I think we have had lots of conversations today about how to try to do that. But I think we need a fundamentally different system first before we can go and make a case to the taxpayers and other people about putting more money into it.
In fact, as I have shown repeatedly, there are a number of areas in which achievement in public education has gotten way, way better over the past few decades. NAEP scores in general are way, way up: black students today are scoring above where white students were scoring back then. Also, if you look at the growth in passing Advanced Placement scores over the past few decades, well, yes, we have way more than doubled the numbers!
If you look at the PIRLS comparisons of American and international students, our kids did rather well, as I showed here.
Even DC NAEP scores have been going up pretty steadily for 20 years, as I showed in this post, and here, and elsewhere, but the black-white gap on those scores in DCPS got wider while Michelle Rhee was in charge.
Not a word of recognition that RHEE HERSELF WAS IN CHARGE OF DCPS while the black-white gap got to be #1 in the nation!!
Not a word of acknowledgement that Rhee, herself, rammed through all those enormous budget increases for central office 20-something failed ex-TFAers, for high-priced consultants, for a completely incomprehensible and untested Value-Added system for evaluating teachers, for poisoned bonuses for cheating teachers and principals, for lots more testing and fees to testing companies, and for other failed experiments like “Capital Gains”.
Things got politically hot in Washington DC for Rhee right before she gave this speech, since a majority of the population of DC thought that her ideas were toxic and counterproductive, so her benefactor (Fenty) lost, so she quit — to go on to make millions of dollars per year giving speeches at $50K per prattle, and through untraceable and unaccountable tax-exempt donations from the very tiny group of billionaires who are running public education today.
Those huge sums of money that Rhee wheedled out of politicians and billionaires didn’t go to students. They went to adults like Rhee!
Another point: I don’t think the main complaint is that schools and teachers aren’t getting enough money. The big problem is what we are doing with that cash: we are wasting it on paying huge sums of money to large corporations for idiotic and useless multiple-choice tests, on gimmicky and unproven high-tech schemes that make huge bucks for corporations, on consultants, and on high-priced experts and ‘coaches’. And on gimmicky charter schools that mostly do worse than the normal private schools. And on demonizing teachers.