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The Progressive Review

  
SINCE 1964, THE NEWS WHILE THERE'S STILL TIME TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT
War on Public Education Undernews

 Charter schools

Common Core 

 Testing

TOPICS

State info on opting out of standardized tests
 
News of schools & the young

Action notes

Books

Charter schools

Chicago

Common Core

Arne Duncan

Essays

Films

Finnish schools

Bill Gates

Guide to what's wrong with charter schools

Links

Perps

Pocket paradigms

Michelle Rhee

Teach for America

Words

 

COMMUNITY OF ACTIVISTS

Action notes
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Activist teacher's handbook

Organizing against Teach for America

ESSAYS
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THE ROAD TO LITERACY IS PAVED WITH WORDS, NOT TESTS

A STANDARDIZED TEST
FOR YOUR SCHOOL

SCHOOL 'REFORM' IS ABOUT CLASS, NOT CLASSROOMS

HOW TEST OBSESSION HURTS LEARNING

LINKS

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Media
NOT WAITING FOR SUPERMAN

SUSAN OHANIAN
RETHINKING SCHOOLS
SUBSTANCE NEWS

WIRETAP

Charter schools
Charter school scandals

Groups
Bad Ass Teachers Assn

PARENTS ACROSS AMERICA
YOUTH RIGHTS ASSOCIATION
RETHINKING SCHOOLS
SAVE OUR SCHOOLS

Testing
ERASE
FAIR TEST

PENCILS DOWN
STUDENTS AGAINST TESTING
TIME OUT FROM TESTING

Infographic on the for-profit education scam

POCKET PARADIGMS
SAM SMITH

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Barack Obama and Arne Duncan are to public education as the right is to climate. The right thinks the climate is all about last week's snow storm; Obama and Duncan think public education is all about last week's test.

To suggest that sports, drama, art, politics or community service are external to the curriculum of an educated person borders on yahooism. Absent these elements, education becomes a brutish parody of what it says it is, a motley collection of facts without context, without integration either with one's own body and soul or with any human community.

WORDS

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To judge schools by how demanding they are is rather like judging an opera on the basis of how many notes it contains that are hard for singers to hit. In other words, it leaves out most of what matters." - John Dewey

Everytime you stop a school, you will have to build a jail. What you gain at one end you lose at the other. - Mark Twain

Mandatory testing is just one part of a more vexing problem facing parents: At an alarming rate, people who never have laid eyes on our kids are deciding what's best for them. And all too often, they're getting it wrong. - Bruce Kluger

I've found that a very inflexible, rule-oriented, quasi-conservative philosophy, which is not conservative at all but basically laziness and reliance on rules, may be easier, but it doesn't do any good. It doesn't ultimately prove that you're really a teacher at all, but just somebody trying to make it easy. - Peter Sturdevant, former head of Maret School, Washington DC

For some reason, first the Bush people and now the Obama people believe they know exactly how to fix American education. (Chicago, their model, is one of the lowest-performing cities in the nation on national tests, and Texas was never a national model for academic excellence.) Their answer starts with testing and ends with data and more testing. If children were widgets, they might be right; but children are not widgets, they are individuals. If reading and math were all that mattered in school, they might be right, but basic skills are not the be-all and end-all of being educated. -Diane Ravitch, Huffington Post, 6/13/09

BOOKS

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Making the Grades: My Misadventures in the Standardized Testing Industry. An insider's look at his nearly fifteen years of test scoring.

The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education by Diane Ravitch

Race to Nowhere: The true effects of the NCLB war on public education

FILMS

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New films take on the myths of "Waiting for Superman"

The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman

Chicago
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Chicago's war on public education

2011

Child abuse: Chicago public school handcuffs first grader

2009

WHAT DUNCAN REALLY DID TO CHICAGO SCHOOLS

HOW ARNE DUNCAN THINKS ABOUT CHILDREN

I am not a manager of 600 schools. I'm a portfolio manager of 600 schools and I'm trying to improve the portfolio. - Arne Duncan, the new education secretary, speaking of the Chicago schools he ran.

FLUNKIN' DUNCAN: THE TEST RESULTS

FOXES IN THE CHICKEN COOP: ARNE DUNCAN

OBAMA SIDES WITH WAR ON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

WHY ARNE DUNCAN IS A TERRIBLE CHOICE FOR EDUCATION SECRETARY

Common Core
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2014

Parents desert Common Core

82% of New Yorkers don't like Common Core

How Common Core is damaging critical thinking

6th graders want payment for being Common Core "guinea pigs"

Why Common Core might flunk Theodore Roosevelt

Details of states pulling back from Common Core

Over a half million NY teachers withdraw support from Common Core

The high costs of Common Core

Common Core disheartens yet another teacher

Why Common Core is rotten to the core

For better learning, Common Core is cuttng bathroom time

Common Core ditches history and social studies

2013

Obamacareless for the classroom

More Common Core madness

A social worker reports on what Common Core is doing to students

Common Core seriously abusing kindergarteners

Parent arrested for asking unapproved questions about Common Core at school district meeting

A Maine school board chair explains why Common Core is a disaster

Cursive handwriting dumped by Common Core

Common Core disses good writing

Common Core vs. a real teacher

How Common Core is turning kindergarteners into illiterate bureaucrats

This Common Core guide is written in bureaucratese, not English. It is repetitive, unclear and badly written. Neither this guide nor its authors should be allowed in any American classroom.Not to mention the problem of child abuse.

A school principal on Common Core

Tennessee Dems and Tea Party come together to take on Common Core

Common Con tests over twice as expensive as ones schools now use

Common Con State Standards will redesign ACT, SAT & GED

State by state guide to opting out of Common Con Standards

What's wrong with Common Core

Common Core teaching second graders how to win a war

Kindergarten before and after Common Core

Common Core can't even handle the ABCs

The following Common Core test question is brought to you by Lego

Some problems with Common Core

A principal admits she was wrong about Common Core

Inside Common Core

Common Core is even wrecking gym class

What's wrong with Common Core

The madness of Common Core

2012

The turmoil of Common Core

Common Core headed towards a $500 billion scandal

Why Common Core is a disaster

How Common Core Standards will damage education

The war on education (and reading): David Coleman's common core of nonsense

 

MICHELLE RHEE

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The facts vs. Michaelle Rhee

2013

Now Michele Rhee is fouling up Tennessee education

DC government plans to bury Michelle Rhee test score scandal
 
Washington Post on school test cheating; fergetaboutit
 
Michelle Rhee's reign of error

Diane Ravitch on Michelle Rhee

2012

Husband of Michelle Rhee Scrutinized for Financial Malpractice

Report: Michelle Rhee a complete flop in DC

Michelle Rhee's rightwing connections

Washington's Rhee wreck

Arne Duncan & Michelle Rhee would fire Miss Snug

Would you want Michelle Rhee teaching your child?

80 teachers illegally fired by Michelle Rhee get reinstated

Michelle Rhee runs from media as her myth disintegrates

Why U.S. schools aren't as bad as Duncan & Rhee want you to believe

WHY RHEE, GATES & GUGGENHEIM ARE FULL OF IT

In the annual Quality Counts rankings of Ed Week. DC came in second from the bottom compared to the fifty states.

THE REAL STORY ABOUT MICHELLE RHEE

2009

HOW RHEE GETS IT WRONG

Dean Shareski, Ideas & Thoughts - [Jay Matthews] article features Washington's chancellor of education, Michelle Rhee and her relentless efforts to improve schools. I admire her passion. I'm not all that impressed with her perspectives.

"'The thing that kills me about education is that it's so touchy-feely,' she tells me one afternoon in her office. . . People say, 'Well, you know, test scores don't take into account creativity and the love of learning,' she says with a drippy, grating voice, lowering her eyelids halfway. Then she snaps back to herself. 'I'm like, 'You know what? I don't give a crap.' Don't get me wrong. Creativity is good and whatever. But if the children don't know how to read, I don't care how creative you are. You're not doing your job.'". . .

I've been in a number of schools of late and seen students whose reading scores are the least of their problems. If you've been in schools lately you know what I mean. 15 year olds, living on their own, coming to school high, 1st graders so full of anger they threaten classmates lives and the list goes on. These students do not need to see their reading scores meet or exceed grade level by the end of the year, they need "touch-feely" teachers. By "touchy-feely", I mean teachers that have time, expertise and passion to help them function as human beings, never mind reading. Reading is priority number 236 in their list of needs. I spent a few hours watching these at risk students building a canoe from scratch. Students who, for a change, were attending school, interacting politely with adults, finding a purpose. No standardized test in the world could measure this. But the gains made by these students because of "touch-feely" teachers is unquestionable. These teachers deserve a raise.

I've also been in schools with students who are so far above reading level and ability that the curriculum and classroom activities are laughable. They sit in their desks and hate it when teachers ask them to consider how they learn or what they want to learn; they just want to be told what to do because they're good at it and have had years of success playing that game and are upset when a teacher wants to change the rules. They need opportunity to show their creative side. They need to be teaching others. They might ace a standardized test and the teacher might be seen as successful. I'm not sure the teachers or students have done anything worthwhile.

These two diverse groups of students are the reason standardized tests and Rhee-like one-size-fits-all education isn't valuable. . .

Every education system on earth has the same hierarchy of subjects. Every one, doesn't matter where you go, you'd think it would be otherwise but it isn't. At the top are mathematics and languages, then the humanities, and the bottom are the arts. Everywhere on earth.

2008

BRITISH STUDY SUGGESTS FENTY & RHEE MAY BE DUMBING DOWN STUDENTS

Laura Clark, Daily Mail UK - Bright teenagers are a disappearing breed, an alarming new study has revealed. The intellectual ability of the country's cleverest youngsters has declined radically, almost certainly due to the rise of TV and computer games and over-testing in schools. The 'high-level thinking' skills of 14-year-olds are now on a par with those of 12-year-olds in 1976. The findings contradict national results which have shown a growth in top grades in SATs at 14, GCSEs and A-levels.

The intelligence of Britain's youth is being dumbed down, which experts say is down to television and video games. Posed by model. But Michael Shayer, the professor of applied psychology who led the study, believes that is the result of exam standards 'edging down'.

His team of researchers at London's King's College tested 800 13 and 14-year-olds and compared the results with a similar exercise in 1976.

The tests were intended to measure understanding of abstract scientific concepts such as volume, density, quantity and weight, which set pupils up for success not only in maths and science but also in English and history.

One test asked pupils to study a pendulum swinging on a string and investigate the factors that cause it to change speed. A second involved weights on a beam.

In the pendulum test, average achievement was much the same as in 1976.

But the proportion of teenagers reaching top grades, demanding a 'higher level of thinking', slumped dramatically.

Just over one in ten were at that level, down from one in four in 1976.

In the second test, assessing mathematical thinking skills, just one in 20 pupils were achieving the high grades - down from one in five in 1976.

Professor Shayer said: 'The pendulum test does not require any knowledge of science at all. 'It looks at how people can deal with complex information and sort it out for themselves.'

He believes most of the downturn has occurred over the last ten to 15 years.

It may have been hastened by the introduction of national curriculum testing and accompanying targets, which have cut the time available for teaching which develops more advanced skills.

Critics say schools concentrate instead on drilling children for the tests.

'The moment you introduce targets, people will find the most economical strategies to achieve them,' said Professor Shayer.

A study found the high-level thinking skills of 14-year-olds are now on par with a 12-year-old in 1976. . .

Professor Shayer believes the decline in brainpower is also linked to changes in children's leisure activities.

The advent of multi-channel TV has encouraged passive viewing while computer games, particularly for boys, are feared to have supplanted time spent playing with tools, gadgets and other mechanisms. . .

Previous research by Professor Shayer has shown that 11-year-olds' grasp of concepts such as volume, density, quantity and weight appears to have declined over the last 30 years.

Their mental abilities were up to three years behind youngsters tested in in 1975.

His latest findings, due to appear in the British Journal of Educational Psychology, come in the wake of a report by Dr Aric Sigman which linked the decline in intellectual ability to a shift away from art and craft skills in both schools and the home.

Dr Sigman said practical activities such as building models and sandcastles, making dens, using tools, playing with building blocks, knitting, sewing and woodwork were being neglected.
Yet they helped develop vital skills such as understanding dimension, volume and density.

Last month an Ofsted report said millions of teenagers were finishing compulsory education with a weak grasp of maths because half of the country's schools fail to teach the subject as well as they could. Inspectors said teachers were increasingly drilling pupils to pass exams instead of encouraging them to understand crucial concepts.

RHEE THINKS REPUBLICANS ARE BETTER THAN DEMOCRATS

DC Wire, Washington Post - She's said it before, but Michelle Rhee keeps hammering away at the Democratic Party for being weak on education accountability and reform. Last night, Rhee appeared before the Ward 4 Democrats at Emery Recreation Center and explained that she appeared on an education panel discussion in Denver during the Democratic National Convention to "make a statement to the Democratic Party" about why it needs to get tougher on unions and other "political interests." Rhee stressed that she has been a lifelong Democrat, but then she lit into the Party. "Republicans are much better at education policy than Democrats," she said. "Democrats are soft on accountability and they're anti-NCLB [No Child Left Behind], they don't want to test anyone. This attitude in my mind does nothing for the neediest students who need help the most." To Rhee, Democratic leaders pander to unions and other interest groups who are "driving the agenda on school reform. Everyone thinks Republicans are for the rich, white oil guys to whom they give tax breaks and Democrats are for kids and the underclass. I don't think the Democratic Party operates that way. So we were there [in Denver] speaking out and pushing the Party to move in a different direction."

TEACHING OUR CHILDREN TO BE DYSFUNCTIONAL

WASHINGTON BUSINESS JOURNAL Rhee wants nonprofits to take over a dozen of the city's most failing high schools. A new tax-exempt group, formed by former Fenty bullpen official Sarah Lasner, will receive donations from businesses eager to contribute to school reform. And Rhee wants businesses to pony up their human capital by adopting schools and helping students on Saturdays and in summer school with legions of off-hours tutors and mentors.

Many in the business community wonder why it has taken her so long to ask for their help. Foundations and corporations have complained for months that they can't get meetings with Rhee. In a meeting with members of The Philanthropy Roundtable on April 1, she repeated Fenty's blunt request that they contribute $75 million every year for the next five years - while adding that most of the money would probably go toward teachers' salary incentives. Some business leaders at the meeting bristled: Why should they be asked to pitch in for overhead when the system was wasting so much money? Shouldn't they be contributing like businesses usually do: building playgrounds, buying computers and painting hallways on the weekends?. . .

Rhee explains her approach to business and nonprofit involvement in D.C. schools. Her bottom line: If you're a business and you want to contribute, you will do what the school system needs, not necessarily what you want to do. And however you contribute, your business's role will be evaluated by a single criteria: Did it lead to an improvement in students' standardized test scores

CITY DESK - Rhee's approach to education is deeply anti-educational. To use standardized tests as the sole criteria of someone's achievement ignores matters such as wisdom, judgment, social factors and morality. If you educate kids in such a manner you basically end up with adults - not unlike Rhee and Fenty - able to absorb a large amount of data but often incapable of using it sensibly in a social situation. There is a name for this; it's called Asperger's Syndrome. The last thing we want to do is to train our children to be as socially dysfunctional as some of our leaders.

Let's say we have a standardized test on the city budget. Rhee and Fenty would probably pass it with flying colors. Now let's ask a different sort of question: given the data, what is the best amount of money we should spend on education as opposed to locking up minor drug offenders a thousand miles from home? There's no way you can standardize the answer because it is ultimately a matter of wisdom and morality.

Now let's ask another question. If we are spending too much on prisons, how do we convince people to do otherwise? Again, there is no way to standardize the answers.

Yet the success of our society is based on education young people to be able to answer such questions and thousands of others that won't fit in the blank on the test sheet.

There is nothing wrong with tests when they are used with the sort of wisdom, judgment and conscience that standardized tests can't teach you. If we want our children to have the latter traits, then we must educate them and not reduce learning to the primitive logic of slot machine.

RHEE-ALITY CHECK

CANDI PETERSON On Saturday, May 3, Mr. Jesus Aguirre from the Office of the Chancellor told some local DC public school restructuring teams in a citywide meeting that DCPS elementary school counselor positions will not be funded in DCPS elementary schools that do not have a minimum of six hundred students. . .

As if this weren't enough, DCPS literacy and math coach teachers were advised last Friday that they too will have to reapply for their newly reclassified jobs under new position titles, Literacy Professional Developer and Mathematics Professional Developer, at the DCPS teacher transfer fair next Saturday. . .

Like their mentor, Chancellor Joel Klein of New York public schools, it appears that Mayor Fenty and Chancellor Rhee believe that the way to reform public education is by firing the bottom half of public school employees. As Randi Weingarten, President of United Federation of Teachers, reported about Chancellor Joel Klein's similar tactics, "And if you can't fire them, make their lives miserable." Instead of proposing creative solutions that would reform our public schools, Chancellor Rhee and Mayor Fenty continue down their path of destruction of our educational landscape which is counterproductive, destroys employee morale, wastes valuable talent, tarnishes future teacher recruitment efforts, and lacks a long-term educational strategic plan. After all, what competent, certified and experienced employees will be attracted to work in a system that regularly devalues and disrespects teachers, and fails to retain their existing pool of talented and certified educators?

RHEE BACKS RIGHTWING ATTACK ON PUBLIC EDUCATION

LOOSE LIPS, CITY PAPER Mayor Adrian M. Fenty might be a Barack Obama supporter, but his hand-picked education czar is opting for a different approach, at least when it comes to improving schools. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, in comments at a gathering of the Korean-American Coalition's D.C. chapter, endorsed the education plan of Arizona Republican John McCain "far and away" over those of either Obama or Hillary Clinton.

Rhee, in a speech at Tony Cheng's Restaurant in Chinatown, referred to herself as a "card-carrying Democrat" (LL forgot to ask to see the card), yet endorsed McCain's approach based on his willingness to reauthorize the controversial "No Child Left Behind" legislation. Both Clinton and Obama have been highly critical of the law and its effects. "I think they're pandering, quite frankly, to the teachers' unions and other folks," she said.

In comments after the speech, Rhee . . . called herself as a "huge proponent" of the federal law and said she was "incredibly disappointed" with the lack of Democratic support . . . though she did say she had a "laundry list" of things she would change with the statute.


RHEE ADMITS SHE'S OUT TO KILL THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM

Harry Jaffe in the DC Examiner reports this exchange between David Catania and Michelle Rhee during a recent city council hearing:

Catania, one of Rhee's best buddies on the legislature, suggested the Council put a cap on charter schools, the better to stem the tide of these fast-multiplying schools that are independent of the school bureaucracy yet rely on public funds.

Catania was expecting Rhee to take the path of least resistance and thank him for saving her public schools from competition. But Rhee doesn't walk in the same worn-out shoes of her predecessors.

No thanks, Rhee responded. This is about educating children rather than dividing up turf.

"The problem is not capping charter schools," she told me, "it's about asking how do we make sure we get as many kids into great charter schools as possible.

"I would fight to the death for a real good charter school," she says.

Have no doubt about it. Fenty and Rhee are out to kill public education and replace it with charter schools run by educational mercenaries. There is no proof that this is educationally preferable and there is clear evidence that the public will lose control over education at every level. The school board has already been emasculated and every public school replaced by a charter is one more central piece of a functioning community destroyed.

ARNE DUNCAN

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Duncan uses federal greenmail to bully Washington state's educational system

Obama's war on public education

Drone schooler Duncan would screw poor California kids to get his way

Arnie Duncan pushes militarization of schools

What Arne Duncan left behind

HOW ARNE DUNCAN THINKS ABOUT CHILDREN

I am not a manager of 600 schools. I'm a portfolio manager of 600 schools and I'm trying to improve the portfolio. - Arne Duncan, the new education secretary, speaking of the Chicago schools he ran.

Obama & Duncan reviving the pauper schools that public education got rid of

Putting Duncan to the test: he flunks

Duncan's chief of staff admits test tyranny is designed for testing and textbook industry

Arne Duncan & Michelle Rhee would fire Miss Snug

Flunking Arnie Duncan

Obama doesn't seem to understand his own education program

Arne Duncan flunks again

A Texas school superintendent takes on Arne Duncan & Obama

Let me ask you a simple question: Where is adequate yearly progress for the politician? Will we have 100 percent employment by 2014? Will all the children have decent health care and roofs over their heads by their deadline? But wait. They don't have a deadline. They aren't racing anywhere, are they? Congressmen, politicians, if you want children that are lush, stop firing the gardeners and start paying the water bill. Politicians, your fingerprints are on these children. What have you done to help them pass their tests?

Arne Duncan bullies Washington's mayor on school chancellor appointment

Why Arne Duncan, Michell Rhee and the other test tryants flunk in math

How Duncan & NCLB are breaking teachers

ARNE DUNCAN'S WAR AGAINST PARENTS

COURT BACKS TEACHERS AGAINST ARNE DUNCAN'S MASS FIRING

DUNCAN'S WAR ON PUBLIC EDUCATION HITS RHODE ISLAND

ARNE DUNCAN'S PHONY REFORM STRIKES AGAIN: 200 FIRED AT GEORGIA SCHOOL

WHAT DUNCAN REALLY DID TO CHICAGO SCHOOLS

FLUNKIN' DUNCAN: THE TEST RESULTS

FOXES IN THE CHICKEN COOP: ARNE DUNCAN

OBAMA SIDES WITH WAR ON PUBLIC SCHOOLS

WHY ARNE DUNCAN IS A TERRIBLE CHOICE FOR EDUCATION SECRETARy

FINNISH SCHOOLS

Finland uses just one major test

2012

Why America can't learn from Finnish schools

2011

A Finnish educator explains how his country does it

2009

DUMP DUNCAN, RHEE & KLEIN AND LET THE FINNS TEACH US HOW TO RUN OUR SCHOOLS

2008

FINLAND: WHERE THEY REALLY LEAVE NO CHILD BEHIND

ELLEN GAMERMAN, WALL STREET JOURNAL - Finnish teenagers are among the smartest in the world. They earned some of the top scores by 15-year-old students who were tested in 57 countries. American teens finished among the world's C students even as U.S. educators piled on more homework, standards and rules. Finnish youth, like their U.S. counterparts, also waste hours online. They dye their hair, love sarcasm and listen to rap and heavy metal. But by ninth grade they're way ahead in math, science and reading -- on track to keeping Finns among the world's most productive workers. Finland's students are the brightest in the world, according to an international test. Teachers say extra playtime is one reason for the students' success. WSJ's Ellen Gamerman reports.. . . .

The academic prowess of Finland's students has lured educators from more than 50 countries in recent years to learn the country's secret, including an official from the U.S. Department of Education. What they find is simple but not easy: well-trained teachers and responsible children. Early on, kids do a lot without adults hovering. And teachers create lessons to fit their students. "We don't have oil or other riches. Knowledge is the thing Finnish people have," says Hannele Frantsi, a school principal. . .

Finnish teachers pick books and customize lessons as they shape students to national standards. "In most countries, education feels like a car factory. In Finland, the teachers are the entrepreneurs," says Mr. Schleicher, of the Paris-based OECD, which began the international student test in 2000.

TEACH FOR AMERICA

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The Teacher for America con

Education professor challenges Teach for America's claims

Reality Check: Teach for America

NEA head calls Teach for America educational malpractice

2011

Matt Damon and mother turn down award from union tied to Teach for America

2009

THE UNDERSIDE OF TEACH FOR AMERICA

THE MEDIA MUDDLED STORY OF TEACH FOR AMERICA

BILL GATES

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What they teach where Bill Gates and his family went and go to school

If your kids follow Bill Gates too carefully, they'll learn to lie

Obamadmin (with help from Gates) takes its spying into the classroom

Infrequently asked questions: How come the former governor of Virginia can be indicted for taking over $100k from a campaign backer in return for favors, while Bill Gates gets away with giving city governments millions in return for the things (aka "policies") that he wants?

2013

Now Gates Foundation is out to wreck higher education

Warren Buffet gives $2 billion in stock to public education killer Gates Foundation

Gates Foundation making huge investment in prison industry

Parents irate over Gates funded spy file on country's children

An award winning principal runs into Gates Foundation child (and teacher) abuse

Another anti-teacher crazy idea from Bill Gates (and it only costs $5 billion)

Gates foundation behind massive invasion of student privacy

Bill Gates' war on education takes a wacky turn

Child abuse: Diane Ravitch dumped by Gates-backed Brookings Institution

Bill Gates's cover blown; his foundation gives big grant to right wing foe of public education

Get Bill Gates out of the classroom

WHY RHEE, GATES & GUGGENHEIM ARE FULL OF IT

How three foundations are damaging public education

How did Bill Gates get to decide what's good for our children

The Gates Foundation – the Koch brothers of schools – to spend millions to rig education system

GATES FOUNDATION BEHIND ABUSE OF SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS BY SCHOOL SYSTEMS

IS THE GATES FOUNDATION ENGAGED IN BRIBERY?

2009

BILL GATES WANTS BIG BROTHER IN THE CLASSROOM

Charter Schools

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2014

Charter school fraudsters get off with a promise not to do it again

What's behind the hedge fund charter school scam

The role of charter schools in school resegregation

Obamadmin finally tells charter schools they have obey civil rights laws

The charter school cons

"Sit and stare" child abuse by charter schools

The segregated staircase to the charter school

Word: The charter school con

How Walmart is behind the charter school game

Word: Charter schools

Charter schools increase segregation

The NYC charter school con

The charter school con the media ignores

Texas charter schools teaching creationism

2013

Charter schools were born in segregation and still create it

Charter schools suceeding in hurting public education, but not much else

Who's profiting from charter schools?

Charter schools were a dictator's idea

Charter schools: Counseling out to keep public funds coming in

How charter schools rig the game

Child Abuse: The charter school con hits Philadelphia

Pennsylvania charters bomb compared to public schools

Another way charter schools rip off the public

Charter school con: dumping problem students

Oregon goes after charter school scam

National Labor Relations Board blows whistle on fake "public" charter school

National Labor Relations Board blows whistle on fake "public" charter school

2012..

Philadelphia charter school expansion crushing public schools

Detroit Charter School Could Go Union

Unionize charter schools?

Tax supported charter school closes six weeks into year

Corporatized schools vs. public education

The charter school myth blown up

Another blow to the charter school myth

How the charter school scam works

Charter schools aren't working well in South Carolina, either

Chinese investors see charter schools as profit centers

Investment firm plans to harvest your kids for big bucks

How corporations are ripping off the public school system

The failure of publicly funded private schools (aka charters)

Charter schools are right up there with megaplex movie theaters as profit centers

Recovered history: Albert Shanker and charter schools

Charter school lobby exposed as ALEC front

Washington state says no to charter schools

The death of public education in Philadelphia

How school vouchers are used to push rightwing evangelism

Study finds charter schools waste money on administration

How charter schools manipulate their problems

Top ten reasons for one percenters to support charter schools

Why charter schools don't work

More on charter schools

The charter school myth

One school voucher group admits its goal is to end public education

A third of charter schools run by management corporations

Maine falling for charter school myth

Charter school results fudged by attrition rate, hidden government money

2010

Catalyst Magazine - Chicago] charter schools expelled 146 students in 2009, or 5 of every 1,000—a higher rate of expulsion than traditional schools, which posted an expulsion rate of 1.5 for every 1,000 students. (See chart.) In 85 percent of charter school cases, students were expelled for less serious offenses that are not eligible for expulsion under CPS rules. Once expelled, charter students are sent back to their neighborhood school by the district’s Office of Adjudication.

GOLDMAN SACHS SEES GOLD IN CHARTER SCHOOLS

LIB DEMS CHALLENGE BRITISH VERSION OF CHARTER SCHOOLS

CHARTER SCHOOLS PAYING STUDENTS TO FIND NEW CLASSMATES

MAJOR FINANCING SCAM BEHIND CHARTER SCHOOLS UNCOVERED

PHILADELPHIA WATCHDOG FINDS CHARTER SCHOOLS
"EXTREMELY VULENERABLE TO FRAUD, WASTE, AND ABUSE."

NEW ORLEANS CHARTER SCHOOLS: CAPITALIZING ON DISASTER

CHARTER SCHOOL CHEATING SCANDAL

WHO'S BEHIND THE CHARTER SCHOOL HYPE?

CHARTER SCHOOLS RIGGING GAME

STUDY: CHARTERS NOT AS GOOD AS PUBLIC SCHOOLS

HIDDEN TRUTHS ABOUT CHARTER SCHOOLS

EVEN THE RIGHT IS FINDING CHARTERS & VOUCHERS TO BE SUBPRIME

QUESTIONS TO ASK ABOUT CHARTER SCHOOLS

HOW SOME CHARTER SCHOOLS MAKE IT TO THE TOP

EVEN THE RIGHT IS FINDING CHARTERS & VOUCHERS TO BE SUBPRIME

Frederick M Hess, American Enterprise Institute - Milwaukee's voucher program initially allowed a few hundred students to attend local private schools with public scholarships. When it was launched, advocates voiced expansive claims on behalf of "choice." In 1990, scholars John Chubb and Terry Moe argued in their seminal volume Politics, Markets, and America's Schools, "Without being too literal about it, we think reformers would do well to entertain the notion that choice is a panacea. . . . It has the capacity all by itself to bring about the kind of transformation that, for years, reformers have been seeking to engineer in myriad other ways."

The record of markets in advancing prosperity, opportunity, and innovation is compelling. It seemed almost axiomatic that market reforms would deliver similar results in schooling, spurring the emergence of good schools and pushing traditional districts to improve.

Yet things have not worked out as intended. Chester E. Finn Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and a champion of choice-based reform since the 1980s, has voiced "growing sympathy" with choice skeptics and warned against "too much trust in market forces. . .

Even staunch proponents of school choice are conceding disappointment. Earlier this year, Weekly Standard contributor Daniel Casse reported, "The two most recent studies show that, since the implementation of the voucher program, reading scores across all Milwaukee schools are falling." Howard Fuller, patron saint of the voucher program, has wryly acknowledged, "I think that any honest assessment would have to say that there hasn't been the deep, wholesale improvement in MPS [Milwaukee Public Schools] that we would have thought." Manhattan Institute scholar Sol Stern, one-time choice enthusiast and author of Breaking Free: Public School Lessons and the Imperative of School Choice, brought the concerns to a boiling point earlier this year when he declared, "Fifteen years into the most expansive school choice program tried in any urban school district [there is] . . . no 'Milwaukee miracle,' no transformation of the public schools has taken place.". . .

Today, the Milwaukee voucher program enrolls nearly twenty thousand students in more than one hundred schools, yet this growing marketplace has yielded little innovation or excellence. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently described 10 percent of voucher schools as having "alarming deficiencies." These include Alex's Academics of Excellence, which was launched by a convicted rapist, and the Mandella School of Science and Math, whose director overreported its voucher enrollment and used the funds to purchase two Mercedes-Benzes. Veteran Journal Sentinel writer Alan Borsuk has opined, "[The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program] has preserved the status quo in terms of schooling options in the city more than it has offered a range of new, innovative, or distinctive schools."

Wisconsin headline writers have had a field day, with the Capital Times and Milwaukee Magazine featuring the likes of "The Failure of School Choice," and "Whoops, We Goofed: School Choice Doesn't Work Like Its Supporters Promised. Gulp. Now What?" . . .

While research suggests that some participating students benefit from private school vouchers, these results may largely reflect the ability of students in places like New York City or Washington, D.C., to find empty seats in established parochial schools. There is little evidence that voucher or choice programs have succeeded in fostering the emergence or expansion of high-quality options.

Similar concerns plague the charter movement nationally, even as the number of charter schools has surged above four thousand and charter enrollment has passed the one million mark. The U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics has compared the performance of students in district and charter schools, reporting, "After adjusting for student characteristics, charter school mean scores in reading and mathematics were lower, on average, than those for public noncharter schools." . . .

Stig Leschly, executive director of the Newark Charter School Fund, has observed that only about two hundred of the thousands of existing charter schools "really close the achievement gap." . . .

Among the eight cities where charter schools enroll 20 percent or more of students are Detroit, Michigan; Youngstown, Ohio; and Washington, D.C. In 2007, Education Week reported that, despite a substantial charter presence, Detroit had the highest dropout rate among the nation's large school systems. A 2007 analysis found that just 57 percent of Youngstown's charter schools, and just 38 percent of its district schools, met Ohio's growth targets for student improvement in reading and math.

In a study of Washington, D.C., which has one of the nation's highest rates of charter school enrollment, researchers Margaret Sullivan, Dean Campbell, and Brian Kisida found no evidence of improvement in D.C. public schools even as they lost nearly a third of their students to charter school competition. They traced inaction to a district "hampered by political dynamics and burdensome regulations." . . .

REFORMING CHARTER SCHOOLS. . . MAKING THEM WHAT THEY WERE MEAN TO BE

The charter school movement was created to "reform" the public schools. So far, it hasn't proved its merit and contains some dangerous and damaging elements. Those fighting for good public schools might turn the battle around by a drive to reform charter schools, exposing their flaws and weaknesses while adopting some of their benefits, the primary one being decentralization. The following was written for our local DC news page but many of the things mentioned apply elsewhere.

SAM SMITH, DC CITY DESK This sounds weird, I know, but I find myself wondering whether one way to battle Mayor Fenty's plan to close more than a score of public schools - a strange approach to improving anything, especially education - is to investigate the possibility of turning some of them into charter schools.

Not any old charter schools, but ones run by the community in which they sit - with a board including teachers, parents, appointees of the ANC and so forth - rather than vague and alien gifts dropped on the neighborhood by the Fenty and business crowd. Not schools modeled on 7-11 franchises but organic institutions growing out of the community they are to serve. With new rules and new goals. And new designs, based on ways to make spare building space bring income to local education rather than be used as a mayoral giveaway to friends and contributors.

There may not be time, there may not be the energy, but a campaign for real, public, neighborhood charter schools might substantially alter the debate, putting politicians and the developers on the defensive for a change. After all, if charter schools are as good as they say, why can't communities run them, too?

The goal would be to create a new model that, unlike the present charter system, is not in competition with the public school system - heading it towards a revival of its early 19th century pauper school status. The goal would to combine the best of charter schools - their decentralization - with a structure that revives the democratic control that vested interests are trying so hard to eliminate. In DC they have been remarkably successful, even eviscerating the first icon of home rule - the elected school board.

The big problem with charter schools right now is that if they aren't better than existing schools - and there is no convincing evidence that they are - then there is no reason for them. And if they are - or become - better than existing public schools, a two tier system will have been created no matter how much the charter crowd insists that they're just as open to everyone as the regular system. For example, I've heard charter advocates brag about how their schools are enticing public school teachers, which is great for them, but not good for the old system. Further, in order to get into one of the charter schools you have to apply. This may not seem like much, but it is precisely the sort of factor that creates a cultural gap. The determined, the knowledgeable, the brave apply. The weak, the beaten down, the confused don't. And you end up with a two tier system.

In fact, there is no way current charter schools can be better than the regular system without the latter being the second best place to send your kids. It is, as it now stands, a subtle but extremely effective attack on public education.

Obviously, there are some advantages to charter schools, but they may not be as mysterious or as unique as their advocates think. Some years back a Virginia school system experimented with small sub schools featuring different educational approaches. When they studied the results they found that students in each of the sub schools did better, regardless of the approach taken. The conclusion: it was the sense that they were going to a school that mattered and that cared about them that made the difference.

So why not throw a Hail Mary pass before the Fenty fusillade is successful, as it presently appears it will be? Demand that some of the schools be recreated in a modified charter school model with extensive community control - a new approach that is not in opposition to the public schools, but is a prototype towards which the rest of the system might move. For example, I have long urged a group of mini systems based on each high school and its feeder schools, led by a board of teachers, parents and other citizens.

What the wheeler dealers ignore in this battle is that most of what happens in school goes on in a classroom in which the bureaucracy and the system are for that hour irrelevant. The point is to find the best teachers and to give them the best support. For over two centuries, America did this well based on decentralized, community controlled education. The answer is not to turn the system over to educational hustlers - as encouraged by Fenty, the business lobby and the editorialists at the Washington-Kaplan Post - but to rediscover a system that worked.

After the above appeared we got this note from the co-founder of Save our Schools, a parent of three

GINA ARLOT, SAVE OUR SCHOOLS - What you describe in City Desk is very similar to what Albert Shanker, the man who first used the term "charter school", hoped would happen if a group of parents, teachers and others got together to start a charter school. It was hoped that by having a school fully invested in by the community, with some innovative idea, we would be able to determine quickly what worked and what didn't in public education and with feedback loops back into the overall system, everyone would benefit. Education Week had a fairly big commentary on the back page recently written by a man who has written a bio on Shanker. What happened is that after the neo-cons stopped criticizing the concept, they realized that it would help them achieve their dearest dream-privatizing a sacred government function, and as a bonus, the teachers and other school workers unions would be destroyed. It was a pretty interesting commentary about how the whole idea of charter schools has been taken over and totally corrupted.

What follows is a collection of information that may be useful to those interested in pursuing the approach suggested above. Included are some of the things wrong with the current undemocratic charter school system.

NATIONAL EDUCATION ASSOCIATION - Nearly 40 percent of newer charter school teachers flee for other jobs, according to a recently released study. Charter school students do no better than their public school counterparts on math and reading assessments, and in some cases score lower, according to this national study. . .

In 2004, the National Assessment Governing Board released an analysis of charter school performance on the 2003 National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as "The Nation's Report Card." The report found that charter school students, on average, score lower than students in traditional public schools. While there was no measurable difference between charter school students and students in traditional public schools in the same racial/ethnic subgroup, charter school students who were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch scored lower than their peers in traditional public schools, and charter school students in central cities scored lower than their peers in math in 4th grade.

Students taught by certified teachers had roughly comparable scores whether they attended charter schools or traditional public schools, but the scores of students taught by uncertified teachers in charter schools were significantly lower than those of charter school students with certified teachers.

Students taught by teachers with at least five years' experience outperformed students with less experienced teachers, regardless of the type of school attended, but charter school students with inexperienced teachers did significantly worse than students in traditional public schools with less experienced teachers.

In a study that followed North Carolina students for several years, professors Robert Bifulco and Helen Ladd found that students in charter schools actually made considerably smaller achievement gains in charter schools than they would have in traditional public schools.

From a guide to converting public to charter schools

Why should we consider converting our school to a public charter school?

Converting to public charter school status permits parents, teachers, and administrators to create the kind of school they want for the children who attend. They can do this because public charter school status confers independence, control, and significantly increased funding at the school level.

Each charter school is an autonomous public school organized as a non-profit corporation governed by its own board of trustees. The trustees have exclusive control over the school's budget, instructional methods, personnel, and administration. Charter schools hire whom they please, spend their funding as they see fit, and, within the bounds of their charter, control their own curriculum and instructional methods.

Because charter schools are not connected to DCPS, their funding comes directly from the D.C. government. The amount of funding is prescribed by the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula.

What are the risks?

Unlike traditional public schools, public charter schools can be closed down if they do not perform well. Charter schools that mismanage funds or break the law can be closed down at any time. Schools whose students do not improve academically can be closed down after five years. A conversion school that is closed down for any reason is likely to revert to a school-system school.

What happens to our current students if we convert?

Under the School Reform Act (D.C.'s charter school law), students enrolled in a converting DCPS school receive preference in admission to the charter school, as do their siblings. All students within the neighborhood boundaries of the converting school also receive preference. Any remaining seats are filled by students from around the District.

What about teachers and staff?

Conversion requires the endorsement of 2/3 of the school's full-time teachers. After conversion, the board of trustees determines who works at the charter school. Former DCPS teachers who work at a charter school receive "creditable service" under the District's retirement system for the entire period of their employment at the charter school. These teachers may elect to remain in the District's system or to transfer into the charter school's retirement system once it establishes one.

How do we get started?

The first step is to study the petition form and become thoroughly familiar with the application process. Next, you should begin educating your teachers, parents, and the community in which your school sits about the pros and cons of conversion. Once there is general agreement about moving forward, you should pull together a steering committee or founding board to begin the process of developing a shared vision and mission for your new school and to prepare the petition.

This summary points to some of the changes needed in the charter school law.

SAVE OUR SCHOOLS - Charter schools were supposed to be laboratories of innovation to improve public education in DC, but instead are laboratories of privatization that are destroying public education and draining our public resources. Since being imposed by a Republican Congress in 1996, it has become obvious that charters are the false promise of reform in DC public schools.

Charter schools are not performing any better than the public schools. In 2006-07, only 9 out of the 43 schools chartered by the Public Charter School Board reached testing benchmarks established by the No Child Left Behind law.

Only 1 out of the 3 "highly touted" KIPP schools met AYP in 06-07

When kids fall through the cracks, the results can be tragic, but charter overseers don't care:

Charters do not have to provide access to all students.

Since charters don¡¦t have neighborhood boundaries, no one is entitled to go to a charter school as a right. However, by law DCPS has to educate all students.

Many charter schools require parents to sign contracts that include mandatory meetings, "volunteering", and "activity fees."

Students are frequently "counseled out" if they are not meeting discipline and academic expectations. This usually occurs after October when charters receive funding for students. Money does not follow the students out of the charters and into DCPS.

The constant movement of students in and out of charter schools is disruptive both to the students and the receiving schools. Students can easily fall through the cracks because there is no uniform tracking system or truancy policy in charter schools.

Charters are costing the city millions of dollars and spend more per capita than DCPS:

Many heads of charter schools make excessive salaries. The Chairman and CEO of Friendship Public Charter School made $260,000 in 2006.

Charters are using DCPS buildings and resources and not putting anything back in the system: Maya Angelou Charter School pays DCPS around $200 per student each year to rent Evans MS despite receiving around $3,000 per student each year in facilities allotment - that's $450,000.

Charter Schools are not public All are owned by non-profit corporations and are only accountable to their boards of trustees.

Even if a charter closes, its non-profit foundation can keep the building.

Three of the 7 Charter Board members live in Maryland or Virginia. "

Kaplan is the education corporation owned by the Washington Post that is helping it stay afloat.

EDUCATION WORLD, 2004 Increased accountability demands on educators have led to more districts and teachers turning to outside resources for help. Among those resources is Kaplan, Inc., a company traditionally known for its test-preparation programs. Kaplan now also offers after-school education centers, as well as programs for K-12 schools, post-secondary education, and professional training. Seppy Basili

As Kaplan's vice president of learning and assessment, Guiseppe (Seppy) Basili guides strategy and product development for Kaplan K12 Learning Services. He has helped Kaplan K12 Learning Services design and deliver instructional programs to more than 1,000 schools nationwide. He also oversees in-house professional development programs. . .

EW: Since the passage of No Child Left Behind, in what areas are schools seeking the most assistance from Kaplan?

Basili: NCLB really is creating enormous change in schools - districts are connecting data to faces in ways they haven't before. Those districts are turning to Kaplan for a range of services - from intervention services for students with the greatest need to professional development for teachers. Districts also are turning to Kaplan for solutions, such as the Achievement Planner learning platform - a comprehensive solution that includes formative assessment, state testing analysis, and targeted lesson plans.

EW: How do you respond to some educators' concerns that they are being forced to "teach to the test" more than ever now, and that it is adversely impacting education?

Basili: While traditional thinking is that teachers shouldn't "teach to the test," the educational landscape has changed during the past several years. Today, we live in a world of criterion-referenced tests, which establishes a proficiency baseline that every student should be able to perform at. State tests are based on state standards. There's no problem whatsoever in having tests that are standards-based and standards-driven.

DC WATCH, 2004 In 2002, Michael Sherer at The Columbia Journalism Review reported that the Washington Post Company had paid lobbyists $80,000 to monitor the No Child Left Behind legislation in 2001. Sherer overlooked the fact that the Post Company has journalists at not only its namesake newspaper the Washington Post, but at Newsweek and many other media outlets who could "monitor" and report on the legislation. But Sherer was getting at a point regarding the journalistic integrity of the Post Company and its media outfit because of a certain conflict of interest. The Washington Post Company is not only a family newspaper but is a company with a very profitable non-media subsidiary called Kaplan Educational Services.

Not surprisingly, DC's "failing" schools or schools with stagnant standardized test scores have been a lead story over the last week at the Washington Post. Two reports outlined the initial announcement of "failing" schools and questioned whether or not money was available to pay for the tutoring that was due to the students in those schools. For those owning stock in the Washington Post Company, this was good news both locally and nationally. But for those outside of the Post's corporate lair, doubts linger as to whether or not this will be a continuation of bad public policy.

The Washington Post Company's 2003 Annual Report breaks Kaplan down into two divisions: Supplemental Education and Higher Education. The more profitable of the two is Supplemental Education, which has a long history as a test prep provider. Sherer infers that the Post lobbied Congress to get legislation into NCLB that would further the profits of Kaplan and therefore the Post Company and its shareholders. Sherer goes on to state " Overall, the newspaper's editorials have supported [NCLB's] interests, calling for higher school standards, the use of vouchers, and further exploration of online education."

The Post Company's Kaplan is one of nineteen approved NCLB supplemental service providers on the District of Columbia Public Schools' list from which parents have been able to choose. By 2003, Kaplan had already received at least one $90,000 contract for services from DCPS or $10,000 more than the Post Company reportedly paid a firm to lobby Congress on NCLB in 2001

CHARTER SCHOOL FAQ

Congress imposed charters on DC in 1996.When they proved unpopular, Congress created a special Public Charter School Board to encourage the creation and expansion of charter schools. Charter schools are an example of Congress's disrespect for home rule and their undemocratic meddling in local affairs.

But aren't charter schools well meaning?

Charters were pitched as innovative models of reform that would help DCPS improve. There are some good and well-intentioned charter schools, but as a whole charters are part of a national movement to privatize all of our public institutions and services.

Aren't charter schools public?

Charter schools use public money, but every charter school is owned, operated, and governed by a private corporation and Board of Trustees. Many charters receive additional funding from private foundations and wealthy individuals, further weakening public accountability. Also, charters don't have to follow the rules and regulations of DCPS for enrollment and retention of students or for the hiring and firing of teachers and other school workers.

But can't anyone go to a charter school?

Charters are not neighborhood schools. Prospective students must fill out applications and are selected by citywide lottery. Often parents must attend meetings and agree to volunteer time or pay "activity fees" before their children can register. By selective outreach, specialized curriculum and niche marketing, charters can target specific types of students and ignore others. Once accepted, students can be expelled or encouraged to withdraw for social, disciplinary, or academic reasons.

Aren't parents just "voting with their feet" when they send their children to charters?

Not necessarily. DCPS buildings have been neglected and the school system overall has lost resources, staff, and programs. Most parents would choose the neighborhood school down the street if it was clean, modern, well-staffed, and well-maintained.

But aren't charter schools improving educational opportunities for students in the District?

No. Even charter advocates agree that "quality" remains a problem in charter schools, and public schools continue to outperform charters. Even worse, charter schools are creating a dual and unequal education system DC-charters enjoy political support, get large amounts of money from private corporations, and can decide who they want to remain in their school and who they don't. DCPS has to accept everyone, including students put out of charters. Far from fixing decades of political neglect and underfunding of our public schools charters have only made the situation worse.

Do charter schools contribute to segregation, displacement, and gentrification?

Segregation: A study by the Project for Civil Rights at Harvard University shows that charter schools contribute to segregation by race and class. Charters can purposefully attract a certain type of student through targeted recruitment and niche marketing. Being a parent of a charter student generally requires far more resources (for transportation, system navigation, student fees and parent volunteering), which further discriminates against lower-income families. Also, if students do not fit in with the school's mission for disciplinary, academic, or social reasons, they can be dismissed midyear or asked not to return the next year. With this kind of subjective student selection, charter schools are clearly achieving a separate and unequal education based on race and class.

Privatization: Charters are an important step towards systematic privatization in which corporations and wealthy individuals make decisions for everyone else about how students are educated, what communities need, and what happens to available space. Because charters operate outside DCPS and the city government, their ownership of a school building takes the building out of the public domain and makes it private property. Even if the Charter fails, the private owners keep the building and land, rather than returning it to public ownership. Once this transition is made, the public has no access or decision-making power. They are cut out of the picture.

Gentrification: As segregators and privatizers, unaccountable to the people or the democratic process, charter schools are fundamental to the process of gentrification. How better to drive poor people of color out than to undercut access to public education, to sell off public property as "surplus" and hand it off to gentrifiers? This is not only racist and greedy, it shows an utter lack of respect for the people of Washington DC.

Are all charter schools bad?

Individual charter schools may provide a wonderful educational experience for students who attend them, and may perform well and have high retention rates. However, all charter schools are part of a system that threatens equality and justice in public education and the local community. Unless a charter school actively works to protect the community in which it is located and the DC public school system, it is a part of the problem

RICHARD D. KAHLENBERG, EDUCATION WEEK Twenty years ago this month, in a landmark address to the National Press Club in Washington, American Federation of Teachers President Albert Shanker first proposed the creation of "charter schools"-publicly funded institutions that would be given greater flexibility to experiment with new ways of educating students. At the time, some conservative education reformers opposed the idea, saying we already knew what worked in education. Today, the positions are reversed: Conservatives largely embrace charters, while teachers' unions are mostly opposed. How did the notion of charter schools evolve over 20 years? And might a return to Al Shanker's original idea improve the educational and political fortunes of the charter school movement?

In Shanker's vision, small groups of teachers and parents would submit research-based proposals outlining plans to educate kids in innovative ways. A panel consisting of the local school board and teachers' union officials would review proposals. Once given a "charter," a term first used by the Massachusetts educator Ray Budde, a school would be left alone for a period of five to 10 years. Schools would be freed from certain collective bargaining provisions; for example, class-size limitations might be waived to merge two classes and allow team-teaching. Shanker's core notion was to tap into teacher expertise to try new things. Building on the practices at the Saturn auto plant in Nashville, Tenn., he envisioned teams of teachers making suggestions on how best to accomplish the job at hand. Part of the appeal of charter schools to Shanker and many Democrats was that they offered a publicly run alternative to private-school-voucher proposals, which they feared would undermine teacher collective bargaining rights and Balkanize students by race, religion, and economic status. A charter school, Shanker said, "would not be a school where all the advantaged kids or all the white kids or any other group is segregated."

In the early 1990s, Minnesota legislators, working with Shanker, adopted the nation's first charter school legislation. However, as the idea spread (eventually to 40 states and the District of Columbia), the father of charter schools expressed increasing alarm that his idea of teacher-led institutions had morphed into something quite different. Many conservative advocates saw charters as a way to make an end run around teachers' unions, and the vast majority of charter schools today lack collective bargaining agreements. Likewise, states disregarded Shanker's admonition that charter schools should be diverse, as individual charter schools often appealed to specialized ethnic, religious, or racial groups, raising the very concerns Shanker had about private school vouchers.

Shanker argued that in charter schools, rigid collective bargaining rules could be bent, but that teachers still needed union representation. Only when teachers felt secure could they take risks, he said. "You don't see these creative things happening where teachers don't have voice or power or influence." Not surprisingly, lacking a collective voice, teachers in charter schools turn over at almost twice the rate of public school teachers. And while right-wingers assumed that eliminating union influence would make test scores skyrocket, a number of independent studies have found that charter schools do no better than unionized public schools. Moreover, as a practical political matter, as charter schools became a vehicle for anti-union activists, powerful education unions naturally opposed their expansion and effectively limited the ultimate growth of the experiment.

THE MYTH OF CHARTER SCHOOLS

TEXAS STATS SHOWS FAILURE OF CHARTER SCHOOLS

2008

MAJOR CHARTER SCHOOL SCANDAL IN DC

THE SECRET THE HUCKSTERS DON'T WANT YOU TO KNOW: PUBLIC EDUCATION WORKS

ROBERT FREEMAN, DC TEACHER BLOG - Part of the problem [with our schools] is that over the last two decades an intense lobby has emerged that wants to turn public education over to private industry, make McStudents of the nation's youth. It has operated a not-so-stealth campaign to disparage public education and to try to convince Americans that it isn't working. This campaign has mounted a relentless, mantra-like vilification of public schools: schools are failing; teachers are lazy; education bureaucracies are unresponsive; students are being cheated; America is at risk. Sound familiar?

Some of this lobby's motivation is ideological: they dislike anything that smacks of government control, the more so if the service is effective, for such examples repudiate the theological superiority of all things private. Some of its motivation is directed toward right-wing social engineering: they want to control the curriculum that future generations of American students must absorb. And much of it is simply economic: these "prophets of profit" want to get their hands on the $500+ billion that is spent every year in the U.S. on public K-12 education. . .

How would we know if public education is working or not? Probably the most reliable, broad-based, long-term tool for measuring the quality of public education is the Scholastic Aptitude Test. . . Because of its long history, its nationwide reach, and its comprehensive nature, SAT results transcend the negative one-off anecdotes commonly bandied about to disparage public education. No other instrument even comes close to equaling these strengths as a singular measure of national educational progress. So what do the SAT's tell us about the performance of public education in America?

Last year's SAT scores were the highest in 30 years. English scores were the highest in 28 years. Math scores were the highest in 36 years. The scores were at record levels for all ethic groups: whites; Asian-Americans; African-Americans; Native Americans; and Latinos. And they were achieved by the broadest test-taking pool in testing history. Forty-eight per cent of the nation's 2.9 million high school seniors took the test--a record. Thirty-six percent of the test takers were minorities, another record.

Thirty years ago, only the most elite 15 percent of students took the test. And remember, elites usually test better than averages. So the fact that scores have gone up while the test-taking pool has gotten both larger and more diverse may be the most powerful performance indicator of all. . .

Against this record, those who would "privatize" public education have virtually nothing to show for their decades of hucksterish claims. In trial after trial, experiments with educational vouchers (the most popular form of school privatization) have proven a bust. Voucher programs in Milwaukee, New York, Washington D.C., and in Dayton and Cleveland, Ohio have shown no long-term gains in student achievement. . .

Nor do "charter schools" fare any better than voucher schools. . . In August, after the most extensive examination in the history of the country, the Department of Education published data showing charter school students lag public schools students in almost every category of performance. In math, fourth graders were a full half year behind public school students. . .

http://thedcteacher.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

School reform child abuse hurting kids physically as well

Angela Hanscom, a pediatric occupational therapist is the founder of TimberNook, a nature-based development program designed to foster creativity and independent play outdoors in New England,

Angela Hanscom - Over the past decade, more and more children are being coded as having attention issues and possibly ADHD. A local elementary teacher tells me that at least eight of her twenty-two students have trouble paying attention on a good day. At the same time, children are expected to sit for longer periods of time. In fact, even kindergarteners are being asked to sit for thirty minutes during circle time at some schools.

The problem: children are constantly in an upright position these days. It is rare to find children rolling down hills, climbing trees, and spinning in circles just for fun. Merry-go-rounds and teeter-totters are a thing of the past. Recess times have shortened due to increasing educational demands, and children rarely play outdoors due to parental fears, liability issues, and the hectic schedules of modern-day society. Lets face it: Children are not nearly moving enough, and it is really starting to become a problem.

I recently observed a fifth grade classroom as a favor to a teacher. I quietly went in and took a seat towards the back of the classroom. The teacher was reading a book to the children and it was towards the end of the day. I’ve never seen anything like it. Kids were tilting back their chairs back at extreme angles, others were rocking their bodies back and forth, a few were chewing on the ends of their pencils, and one child was hitting a water bottle against her forehead in a rhythmic pattern.

This was not a special-needs classroom, but a typical classroom at a popular art-integrated charter school. My first thought was that the children might have been fidgeting because it was the end of the day and they were simply tired. Even though this may have been part of the problem, there was certainly another underlying reason.

We quickly learned after further testing, that most of the children in the classroom had poor core strength and balance. In fact, we tested a few other classrooms and found that when compared to children from the early 1980s, only one out of twelve children had normal strength and balance...

Ironically, many children are walking around with an underdeveloped vestibular (balance) system today–due to restricted movement. In order to develop a strong balance system, children need to move their body in all directions, for hours at a time. Just like with exercising, they need to do this more than just once-a-week in order to reap the benefits. Therefore, having soccer practice once or twice a week is likely not enough movement for the child to develop a strong sensory system.

Children are going to class with bodies that are less prepared to learn than ever before. With sensory systems not quite working right, they are asked to sit and pay attention. Children naturally start fidgeting in order to get the movement their body so desperately needs and is not getting enough of to “turn their brain on.” What happens when the children start fidgeting? We ask them to sit still and pay attention; therefore, their brain goes back to “sleep.”

The war against black teachers

Wilma de Soto, Bad Ass Teachers - It is glaringly apparent from the point of view of People of Color that racism plays an integral part of the School Reform Movement. I also understand that as apparent as this is to us, it not so for many whites.

• Public schools have been a means of opportunity for people of color to lift themselves from poverty. Now this avenue is being destroyed.
• The fact that teachers of color are being hardest hit is another hint. We are the people who understand what these children face in our society, are able to help them get around and cope with racism and persevere to achieve success, the way our teachers did for us. I myself am involved in such a witch hunt. I am good with these kids, but not worth the money to the reformers. A double blow.
• Remove us and there is no one there who can relate to what it is like to be Black in America and the slings and arrows and disrespect we must endure each day of our lives.

Race to Top fraud: In New York City funds went to bureacrats, not schools

NY Post - Less than a quarter of the $107 million that the school system received in federal Race to The Top funds last year was sent directly to school principals.

The decision on how to spend most of the money — $83 million — was made by the central Department of Education, which channeled the federal funds to support staff, consultants and fringe benefits, according to a study by the Independent Budget Office.

“I am flabbergasted that much of this federal money stayed within central offices and didn’t get to the kids,” said Community Education Council District 2 president Shino Tanikawa. “What’s the point of getting this money if it’s going to central?”

The DOE insisted that almost all the federal funds ultimately ended up in the schools in 2012-13 and defended the use of funds.

“Running the largest education system in the country requires support, management and other essential operations,” said DOE spokesman Liem Marcus.

British experts call for more children play time

David Whitbread - In England children now start formal schooling, and the formal teaching of literacy and numeracy at the age of four. A recent letter signed by around 130 early childhood education experts, including myself, published in the Daily Telegraph advocated an extension of informal, play-based pre-school provision and a delay to the start of formal 'schooling' in England from the current effective start until the age of seven (in line with a number of other European countries who currently have higher levels of academic achievement and child well-being).

There are several strands of evidence which all point towards the importance of play in young children’s development, and the value of an extended period of playful learning before the start of formal schooling. These arise from anthropological, psychological, neuroscientific and educational studies. Anthropological studies of children’s play in extant hunter-gatherer societies, and evolutionary psychology studies of play in the young of other mammalian species, have identified play as an adaptation which evolved in early human social groups. It enabled humans to become powerful learners and problem-solvers. Neuroscientific studies have shown that playful activity leads to synaptic growth, particularly in the frontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for all the uniquely human higher mental functions.

In my own area of experimental and developmental psychology, studies have also consistently demonstrated the superior learning and motivation arising from playful, as opposed to instructional, approaches to learning in children. Pretense play supports children’s early development of symbolic representational skills, including those of literacy, more powerfully than direct instruction. Physical, constructional and social play supports children in developing their skills of intellectual and emotional ‘self-regulation’, skills which have been shown to be crucial in early learning and development. Perhaps most worrying, a number of studies have documented the loss of play opportunities for children over the second half of the 20th century and demonstrated a clear link with increased indicators of stress and mental health problems.

Within educational research, a number of longitudinal studies have demonstrated superior academic, motivational and well-being outcomes for children who had attended child-initiated, play-based pre-school programmes. One particular study of 3,000 children across England, funded by the Department for Education themselves, showed that an extended period of high quality, play-based pre-school education was of particular advantage to children from disadvantaged households.

Studies have compared groups of children in New Zealand who started formal literacy lessons at ages 5 and 7. Their results show that the early introduction of formal learning approaches to literacy does not improve children’s reading development, and may be damaging. By the age of 11 there was no difference in reading ability level between the two groups, but the children who started at 5 developed less positive attitudes to reading, and showed poorer text comprehension than those children who had started later. In a separate study of reading achievement in 15 year olds across 55 countries, researchers showed that there was no significant association between reading achievement and school entry age.

Common Core test anger

Stephanie Simon & Caitlin Emma, Politico - A new front has opened in the Common Core wars — over testing contracts.

The high-stakes battle is undermining one of the Obama administration’s most prized initiatives: its vision, backed by more than $370 million in federal funds, of testing students across the country on a common set of exams in math, reading and writing.

The administration wants children in Mississippi to be measured against the same bar as children in Massachusetts or Michigan. But now a testing revolt is spreading across the country, adding to a slew of troubles for the Common Core initiative, which began as a bipartisan effort but has come under fire from parents and teachers across the political spectrum.

Four years ago, about 40 states expressed interest in using shared tests. But at least 17 already have backed away from using them this spring, including several of the most populous states, such as New York, Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania.

Often, the pushback has come from state legislators furious at the expectation that they would appropriate tens of millions for a test developed with federal funds and controlled by a faceless consortium — without a chance to consider competing products. “Alarm bells were going off in everyone’s district,” Michigan state Sen. Phil Pavlov said.

Even some Obama allies are angry at the administration’s decision to pour money into developing new exams years before most teachers began introducing the academic standards into their classrooms. They say it made the Common Core feel scary and punitive rather than an exciting new way to challenge students to achieve.

The National Education Association this week will consider launching a lobbying push to dramatically reduce federally mandated testing — which could undercut the administration’s Common Core goals even further. The other big union, the American Federation of Teachers, has also been outspoken on the issue. “The federal government has a lot of blame here,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said. “This fixation on testing is just wrong.”

Common Core con allows corporations access to student data, but not parents

Watchdog Wire - Colorado school districts are collecting broad, detailed educational and psychological data on their students for use by private companies and the federal government, yet parental access to the same information remains limited and difficult to come by.

Local districts are giving parents the run-around and stalling, while the state Department of Education claims that it simply doesn't have the ability to connect parents with their children's data.

[The problem mirrors] John Eppolito's experience in Nevada, where the state of Nevada initially tried to charge him $10,000 to see his own children's data. In the face of adverse publicity, they dropped the charge, only to claim that they are unable to connect him with the data, the same data they previously tried to charge him for access to.

As part of its successful campaign for $73 million of Race to the Top money, Colorado agreed to implement Common Core, and to the the Four Assurances, the third of which reads, "Building data systems that measure student growth and success."

The man who bought public education

Turning kindergartners into drones

Word: Questions vs. education

How Tennessee teachers successfully confronted the war on public education

What happens to those who fail high stakes school tests?

The Bush-Obama war on public education has flunked completely

Education wreckers dub themselves "thought leaders"

Louis C.K. - My kids used to love math. Now it makes them cry. Thanks standardized testing and common core!

Professional statisticians come out against public school wreckers

Time to restore childhood

PBS joins enemies of public schools

Peter Deier, Huffington Post - You'd think that that public television would support public education, but you'd be wrong. The Public Broadcasting System has gotten in bed with the billionaires and conservatives who want to privatize our public schools. PBS has nary a word to say about the big money -- from folks like the Walton family, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Eli Broad, business titan and former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, media mogul Rupert Murdoch, Joel Klein (former NYC schools chancellor and now a Murdoch employee), and their ilk -- that has been funding the attack on public schools and teachers unions. They've donated big bucks to advocacy groups, think tanks, and candidates for school boards who echo the their party line.

PBS and its local stations have fallen all over themselves to promote "Waiting for Superman," a documentary film that could easily been mistaken for a commercial on behalf of charter schools. In contrast, missing from the lineups on most PBS affiliates is a remarkable new documentary film, "Go Public," about the day in the life of a public school system in California. The film celebrates public schools without ignoring their troubles. Americans who care about public schools should contact their local PBS affiliates and urge them to broadcast "Go Public."

On PBS, there's a virtual broadcast blackout of major critics of this assault on public education. One of them is historian Diane Ravitch, author of ten books about education, Ravitch got a few minutes on the "Charlie Rose Show" last year but has otherwise been persona-non-grata on PBS. (Bill Moyers, whose show is independently produced but which is broadcast on many of PBS affiliates, interviewed Ravitch several weeks ago in a segment called "Public Schools for Sale?").

Of the 5,096 eighth graders offered a spot to one of New York City's eight exam-based specialized high schools for the current school year, only 11 percent are black or Hispanic... More than 70 percent of the city's eighth graders are black or Hispanic.

All I really need to know about corporate education reform (and why we should fight it) I learned in kindergarten

Questions for school systems and Arnie Duncan to answer

The back story of the corporate takeover of public education

War on public education: Who's losing?

This map correlates ethnicity and school closings in DC. Got a map like this for your city? [Empower DC]

Where teachers are fighting back

Behind the Portland teacher success

Portland students keep the pressure on

How Vermont plans to ruin its pre-schoolers

Massachusetts teachers forced to post students' scores on "data walls"

Best indicator of good school scores: family income

Teaching kids to hate reading

Evaluate that

34 state ed heads refuse to share student data with feds

Court says firing of 7.000 Louisiana teachers was wrong

How British parents leave no child behind

Philadelphia wrecking its public school system

Students stand up for their school and its teachers

2013

Over half of Columbus OH 3rd grade children left behind


From a 2010 study of PISA scores

The danger of data drones

11 people who are ruining American education and have never taught

Important school victory in Bridgeport

Poverty is the education problem, not teachers

Low income students and computers

Pittsburgh 4th graders have to stake 33 standardized tests a year

British students figure out how to con test tyrants

Brookings finds new way to teach kids to hate reading

70% oppose private school vouchers

"We are not toys.
We are not going down without a fight."

Nine year old takes Rahm Emmanuel
to the cleaners

Interview with student

Gentrification driving phoney school reform

Gallery

The destruction of Chicago public education

What's behind the assault on public education?

More than three in four adults "strongly agree" that K-12 schools should teach critical thinking and communication to children. And 64% of respondents strongly agree that goal setting should be taught, while 61% strongly agree schools should know how to motivate students. A majority also strongly agree that things like creativity and collaboration are also meaningful teacher targets.

Word; A professional grower of things on Common Core

If Obama had designed Social Security

Word

@thomascmurray - The best schools aren’t factories for test scores; they’re loving communities who will do anything to support student growth and well being.

Despite widespread public opposition to the education privatization agenda, at least 139 bills or state budget provisions reflecting American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) education bills have been introduced in 43 states and the District of Columbia in just the first six months of 2013

Why schools aren't businesses

What the war on education is all about

How education reform has failed for 20 years

A guide to the language of school wreckers

Public school wreckers flunk fact test

A dictionary to understand what the school wreckers are really saying

Barack Obama: Our first Common Core president

Seniority doesn't protect teachers

Textbook for the war on education

Seattle teachers, students win major battle against test tyrants

The fallacies of meritocratic education
 
Why America's students aren't as bad as everyone thinks
 
Word: A teacher tells why he's resigning

Indiana court okays school vouchers

What if school reformers tried to fix cars?


VOICES FOR EDUCATION

How Obama is wrecking the public school system

Local democracy beats anti-education lobby in LA

@AvalonSense - One of my brightest students tanked the district assessment due to effects of flu...Does that make me a 30% less competent teacher?

@susanoha - 1814 1 year after passing medical exams, John Keats' first volume published & he devotes his life to poetry, not STEM

Another way that Obama is undermining public education

How the Philly school district is planning to destroy the city's schools

Stopping school privatization

Hiring a consultant to get your kid into the right public or charter school

Questions the public school smashers can't answer

A deal that enlists wealthy foreigners in the war against public education

War on public education: Take from the needy, give to the greedy

Jerry Brown takes on the school killers

Activists take on Education Department over school closings

NYC changes its mind about Bloomberg running schools


THE CORNERSTONE FOR TEACHERS

Infographic on standardized tests

School "reform" is a big money maker

Federal complaint charges DC schools test cheating

2012..

Philadelphia charter school expansion crushing public schools

School deform flunks in DC

Where pre-K education is flourishing

Corporate rip off of public education update

No high school basketball player left behind

How the school deformers are doing the opposite of what they claim

How the school deformers are doing the opposite of what they claim

Who knows more about teaching? Michael Bloomberg or 94% of NYC teachers?

Georgia big move to corporatize education

Some questions to Diane Ravitch

More proof the Bush-Obama-Gates war on public education has failed

DC teachers rate their principals ineffective or minimally effective

Things Louisiana children will learn in school with public funding

Why high stakes school testing may be badly misleading

The war on education hits Vermont

The case for civic education

War on education: the parent trigger law

Major use of stimulants to improve grades

How Obama, Arne Duncan, Michelle Rhee, liberals, PBS and the Washington Post helped to create Scott Walker

Why kids should read fiction even if David Coleman doesn't know how

Philadelphia is killing its public schools

The case for a slow school movement

Texas rebelling against education disaster it helped to launch

Highly rated NYC teacher strikes back at the honor

Forcing students to stay in school until they're 18 doesn't work

Obama slowly leaving No Child Behind behind

2011

Florida parents stand up against another Jeb Bush education rip off

Turning public education into a corporate facility

Principals revolt against war on education

Michael Bloomberg would cut city's teaching staff by half

NY SCHOOL TEST SCORES FLOP DESPITE BLOOMBERG'S FALSE CLAIM
 
The chair of the NYC city council ed committee doesn't want Bloomberg's choice as school chancellor: "Cathie Black meets none of the professional experience requirements, apparently satisfying only the undergraduate graduation standard,”

The war on public education fraud by the numbers

Time to leave No Child Behind far behind

Rupert Murdoch and Jeb Bush ready to take over your school

Tacoma teachers win battle against school deformers

The return of pauper schools

War on public education leaving students less smart

How private corporations are ripping off public education

2010

The chair of the NYC city council ed committee doesn't want Bloomberg's choice as school chancellor: "Cathie Black meets none of the professional experience requirements, apparently satisfying only the undergraduate graduation standard,”

The District of Columbia's most affluent ward has more than four times as many "highly effective" public schoolteachers as its poorest

SCHOOL 'REFORM' IS ABOUT CLASS, NOT CLASSROOMS

HOW OTHER COUNTRIES GET GOOD SCHOOLS WITHOUT DUNCAN OR RHEE

THE HUGE FACTOR IN EDUCATION BEING IGNORED

ANOTHER SCHOOL DEFORM MYTH BUSTED: TEACHER BONUSES DON'T HELP

WHAT THE MEDIA DOESN'T TELL YOU ABOUT OBAMA'S SCHOOL 'REFORM'

THE LIE OF EDUCATION REFORM

WHAT THE MEDIA DOESN'T TELL YOU ABOUT OBAMA'S SCHOOL 'REFORM'

CIVIL RIGHTS, EDUCATION GROUPS HIT OBAMA'S SCHOOL POLICY

HOW ERICA GOLDSON SURVIVED THE SCHOOL DEFORM MOVEMENT

22 REASONS EDUCATION 'REFORM' IS A THREAT

CHICAGO TEACHERS ELECT A LEADER WILLING TO TAKE ON THE DUNCANISTS

A TEACHER WRITES TO THE GOVERNOR

TEN REASONS RACE TO THE TOP IS ANTI-EDUCATION

FED'S OWN STATS PROVE EDUCATION POLICY A FLOP

THE MESS OBAMA'S WAR ON EDUCATION CAUSED IN VERMONT

"I'M A TEACHER IN FLORIDA . . . WHAT IT'S REALLY LIKE"

UPATE: THE WAR ON PUBLIC EDUCATION

FLOTSAM & JETSAM: PLC? WDYMBT?

SOME GOVERNORS UNHAPPY WITH 'RACE TO THE TOP'

FEDERAL EDUCATION TAKEOVER FLUNKS ITS OWN TEST

TEACHERS DON'T AGREE WITH OBAMA ON EDUCATION

OBAMA OPENS NEW FRONT IN WAR ON EDUCATION

OBAMA INTERFERES WITH LOCAL PUBLIC EDUCATION AGAIN

4OO HOUSTON TEACHERS THREATENED BY TEST TYRANTS

SURVEY: TEACHERS DON'T LIKE 'NO CHILD' LAW

LOCAL HEROES: SCHOOL DISTRICT REJECTS 'RACE TO THE TOP'

NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND FLUNKS AGAIN

2009

ARNE DUNCAN WOULD FLUNK WINSTON CHURCHILL

EIGHT REASONS DUNCAN'S TEACH FOR DOLLARS PLAN WON'T WORK

OBAMA'S EDUCATION PLAN DEPENDS ON TEST SCORING BY ILL TRAINED TEMPS

THE PUBLIC SCHOOL DEFORMERS AND THE CHICAGO GANG DEATH

OBAMA'S WAR AGAINST KIDS' VACATIONS

SCHOOL DEFORMERS' LATEST NONSENSE

HOW TEST OBSESSION IS HURTING LEARNING

OBAMA WOULD HAVE STUDENTS STAY IN SCHOOL LONGER

BLOWING THE MYTH OF ARNE DUNCAN

ONLINE LEARNING HELPS STUDENTS

STUDY FINDS GIULIANI-BLOOMBERG COPS IN SCHOOLS APPROACH DOESN'T WORK

OBAMA BULLYING SCHOOL SYSTEMS TO GIVE UP LOCAL CONTROL

WHY WE'RE NOT CHANGING EDUCATION

HOW THE STANDARDISTOS ARE DAMAGING EDUCATION

BRITISH REPORT BLASTS CORPORATIZED EDUCATION

DUNCAN OUT TO KILL LOCAL PUBLIC EDUCATION

THE SAME SORT OF PEOPLE WHO CRASHED THE ECONOMY NOW RUN OUR SCHOOLS

DUNCAN THREATENS STATES WITH LOSS OF FUNDS IF THEY DON'T PRIVATIZE SCHOOLS

WHAT ASSESSMENT ADDICTS, CORPORATE HUSTLERS, BUREAUCRATS & POLITICIANS ARE DOING TO OUR CHILDREN

SCHOOL REFORM? UNTRAINED TEACHERS FOR THE POOR

CHILD ABUSE: JUKING THE STATS

HEY, IT WORKED FOR HITLER DIDN'T IT?
EXPLORER SCOUTS BEING TAUGHT HOW TO KILL

MORE PHOTOS

COMING SOON TO A SCHOOL NEAR YOU: A NATIONAL CURRICULUM?

DUNCAN BULLYING SCHOOL SYSTEMS INTO EXCESSIVE PAPERWORK

NYC CHANCELLOR USED TAXPAYER'S TIME TO RAISE MONEY FOR CONSERVATIVE EDUCATION LOBBY

HOW SCHOOL AUTOCRATS ARE HURTING PUBLIC EDUCATION

PAYOFF CONTINUES TO AL SHARPTON FOR JOINING WAR ON PUBLIC EDUCATION

BRITISH SCHOOL SCANDAL RAISES CONCERN OVER AMERICA'S TESTING OBSESSION

UNDERPERFORMING DC SCHOOL SUPER PLAYS FAST AND LOOSE WITH TEACHERS' FUTURES

WHERE BAD PUBLIC EDUCATION REALLY COMES FROM

OBAMA TAKES RIGHTWING LINE ON PUBLIC EDUCATION

THE PRICE OF BRIBING STUDENTS INTO BETTER GRADES

DECEMBER 2008

MAJOR CHARTER SCHOOL SCANDAL IN DC

STUDY SUGGESTS NO CHILD LAW MAY BE DUMBING DOWN STUDENTS

NO CHILD LAW EVEN MAKING LIBERALS DUMBER

SEPTEMBER 2008

EVEN THE RIGHT IS FINDING CHARTERS & VOUCHERS TO BE SUBPRIME

Frederick M Hess, American Enterprise Institute - Milwaukee's voucher program initially allowed a few hundred students to attend local private schools with public scholarships. When it was launched, advocates voiced expansive claims on behalf of "choice." In 1990, scholars John Chubb and Terry Moe argued in their seminal volume Politics, Markets, and America's Schools, "Without being too literal about it, we think reformers would do well to entertain the notion that choice is a panacea. . . . It has the capacity all by itself to bring about the kind of transformation that, for years, reformers have been seeking to engineer in myriad other ways."

The record of markets in advancing prosperity, opportunity, and innovation is compelling. It seemed almost axiomatic that market reforms would deliver similar results in schooling, spurring the emergence of good schools and pushing traditional districts to improve.

Yet things have not worked out as intended. Chester E. Finn Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and a champion of choice-based reform since the 1980s, has voiced "growing sympathy" with choice skeptics and warned against "too much trust in market forces. . .

Even staunch proponents of school choice are conceding disappointment. Earlier this year, Weekly Standard contributor Daniel Casse reported, "The two most recent studies show that, since the implementation of the voucher program, reading scores across all Milwaukee schools are falling." Howard Fuller, patron saint of the voucher program, has wryly acknowledged, "I think that any honest assessment would have to say that there hasn't been the deep, wholesale improvement in MPS [Milwaukee Public Schools] that we would have thought." Manhattan Institute scholar Sol Stern, one-time choice enthusiast and author of Breaking Free: Public School Lessons and the Imperative of School Choice, brought the concerns to a boiling point earlier this year when he declared, "Fifteen years into the most expansive school choice program tried in any urban school district [there is] . . . no 'Milwaukee miracle,' no transformation of the public schools has taken place.". . .

Today, the Milwaukee voucher program enrolls nearly twenty thousand students in more than one hundred schools, yet this growing marketplace has yielded little innovation or excellence. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recently described 10 percent of voucher schools as having "alarming deficiencies." These include Alex's Academics of Excellence, which was launched by a convicted rapist, and the Mandella School of Science and Math, whose director overreported its voucher enrollment and used the funds to purchase two Mercedes-Benzes. Veteran Journal Sentinel writer Alan Borsuk has opined, "[The Milwaukee Parental Choice Program] has preserved the status quo in terms of schooling options in the city more than it has offered a range of new, innovative, or distinctive schools."

Wisconsin headline writers have had a field day, with the Capital Times and Milwaukee Magazine featuring the likes of "The Failure of School Choice," and "Whoops, We Goofed: School Choice Doesn't Work Like Its Supporters Promised. Gulp. Now What?" . . .

While research suggests that some participating students benefit from private school vouchers, these results may largely reflect the ability of students in places like New York City or Washington, D.C., to find empty seats in established parochial schools. There is little evidence that voucher or choice programs have succeeded in fostering the emergence or expansion of high-quality options.

Similar concerns plague the charter movement nationally, even as the number of charter schools has surged above four thousand and charter enrollment has passed the one million mark. The U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics has compared the performance of students in district and charter schools, reporting, "After adjusting for student characteristics, charter school mean scores in reading and mathematics were lower, on average, than those for public noncharter schools." . . .

Stig Leschly, executive director of the Newark Charter School Fund, has observed that only about two hundred of the thousands of existing charter schools "really close the achievement gap." . . .

Among the eight cities where charter schools enroll 20 percent or more of students are Detroit, Michigan; Youngstown, Ohio; and Washington, D.C. In 2007, Education Week reported that, despite a substantial charter presence, Detroit had the highest dropout rate among the nation's large school systems. A 2007 analysis found that just 57 percent of Youngstown's charter schools, and just 38 percent of its district schools, met Ohio's growth targets for student improvement in reading and math.

In a study of Washington, D.C., which has one of the nation's highest rates of charter school enrollment, researchers Margaret Sullivan, Dean Campbell, and Brian Kisida found no evidence of improvement in D.C. public schools even as they lost nearly a third of their students to charter school competition. They traced inaction to a district "hampered by political dynamics and burdensome regulations." . . .

YOU GOT ME. . . WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED?

Progressive Review - We've noticed a growing new elite that even makes the fiscal crisis spawning boomers seem self-effacing. At the core of its style is the assumption that certainty is an adequate substitute for competence. We're not sure what created them - perhaps they believed all the TV shows they watched growing up or perhaps their boomer parents told them too many times how great they were, but we've seldom seen such rampant unsubstantiated self satisfaction. Some sociologist needs to find a name for them before they all get fired for screwing up. In the meantime we might name them Generation Rhee after that media-coddled prototype, DC school chancellor Michelle Rhee, who has gotten unending plaudits for yet to be seen results. And just when we thought we'd heard he best Rhee could tell us about herself, now comes this from the Washington Post: "D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee, who didn't fuss when a PBS interviewer asked if she was a 'benevolent dictator,' made clear again that she was more than comfortable with the her-way-or the-Beltway approach. 'I think if there is one thing I have learned over the last 15 months it's that cooperation, collaboration and consensus-building are way overrated,' she told the Aspen Institute's education summit at the Mayflower

JULY 2008

LOCAL HEROES: SOME WHO HAVE STOOD UP AGAINST SCHOOL TEST MANIA

Fair Test Examiner Individual teachers, parents and students sometimes respond to high-stakes testing by putting themselves on the line:

- Carl Chew, a 60-year-old sixth grade science teacher from Seattle, wrestled annually with his conscience about administering the Washington Assessment of Student Learning tests to his students. "Each year I would give the WASL, and I would promise myself I would never do it again," he said. "I decided, 'I'm not going to wimp out this time.'" His refusal resulted in a nine-day unpaid suspension along with accolades from parents and teachers around the nation. Chew explained his reasons in a Seattle Post Intelligencer commentary: "I performed this single act of civil disobedience based on personal moral and ethical grounds, as well as professional duty. I believe that the WASL is destructive to our children, teachers, schools, and parents. . . . "

- North Carolina special education teacher Doug Ward could no longer bring himself to give the state's alternative assessments to his students with severe disabilities. He was fired for his act of civil disobedience this spring. Ward, who had been teaching special needs students for three years, said he did not want to give a test to his students that was invalid and that they could not pass. "Someone needs to use a little common sense and say, 'I am just not going to do it,'" Ward said. Like Chew, Ward has received support from parents, colleagues and the community. Bob Williams, whose son Kyle was taught by Ward, said he admires his son's teacher for what he did, and that the test doesn't measure what Kyle has learned. "If you ask me as a parent is (Kyle) succeeding, you are darn right he is succeeding," Williams said. "When he started third grade, he couldn't walk down the hall. When he started school as a kindergartner, he was in a wheelchair. Now he can walk down the hall on his own. The test doesn't test that."

- Parent Craig Haller of Brookline, Mass., whose daughter Hannah is a high school freshman with severe disabilities, has launched an exhaustive effort to exempt his daughter from the state test and alternative assessment. State authorities failed to respond to his many requests that 15-year-old Hannah not be tested because she is unable to communicate and her individualized education plan does not align with the state curriculum frameworks. Haller contacted every local and state official he could find and alerted the news media. . . In a letter to state Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester, Haller wrote, "She will experience heightened stress and anxiety at the time of the exam by not being physically able to respond to any part of the exam. She will experience loss of self esteem and self image by completely and totally failing an exam that is not designed to test or assess her knowledge but the mastery of the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks."

- Virtually the entire 8th grade of a South Bronx, New York City, middle school boycotted a practice version of the state exam. Their teacher was disciplined for supposedly fomenting the rebellion. The 160 students from six classes at Intermediate School 318 handed in blank answer sheets rather than take a three-hour practice round of the state social studies exam. "We've had a whole bunch of these diagnostic tests all year," said 13-year-old Tatiana Nelson. "They don't even count toward our grades. The school system's just treating us like test dummies for the companies that make the exams."

The students also submitted a petition to school authorities saying they were tired of the "constant, excessive and stressful testing" that takes time from instruction. The students insisted the boycott was their idea, but administrators blamed Douglas Avella, the students' probationary social studies teacher, and reassigned him to New York's notorious "rubber room" for teachers accused of various kinds of misconduct. "Now they've taken away the teacher we love only a few weeks before our real state exam for social studies," Nelson said. "How does that help us?"

- St. Lucie County, Florida high school Assistant Principal Teri Pinney resigned from her position in June rather than comply with her principal's request that she suspend students for sleeping or "Christmas Treeing" (filling in bubbles to make a pattern) during state testing and other requests she believes were unethical. Neither Pinney nor another assistant principal complied, but the principal suspended the students. Pinney said, "Two of the kids he suspended were good students, never got in trouble, and had excellent attendance. They were children of migrant Mexican workers. The parents pleaded with me and I gave in and lifted the suspensions. Of course, that opposition with my boss got me in trouble." In a newspaper commentary, Pinney expressed her dismay at the role played by testing in schools today: "I believe that misuse or overuse of standardized testing is creating a maddening race for everybody to that elusive finishing line."

TEACHERS UNION CALLS FOR END OF NO CHILD LAW

George N Schmidt, Substance - In a major address to the 3,000 delegates to the national convention of the American Federation of Teachers, outgoing president Ed McElroy announced that the union was no longer in favor of tinkering with the federal "No Child Left Behind" law and called for the abolition of NCLB.

According to the press release summarizing McElroy's remarks: "McElroy pledged that the AFT would work with the next president to move beyond the No Child Left Behind Act (which he called 'an idea whose time has gone') to 'create a new education law that respects the knowledge of classroom professionals and helps teachers and paraprofessionals provide our students with the high-quality education they deserve."

To the loudest cheers of his valedictory speech, McElroy repeated that No Child Left Behind cannot be repaired, and had to be replaced. . .

When No Child Left Behind was originally proposed by the administration of President George W. Bush in 2002, it received widespread bipartisan support, including the support of U.S. Senator Edward Kennedy (D, MA) and U.S. Representative George Miller (D, CA), who at the time were the ranking minority leaders in the Senate and House on matters of education. Senator Kennedy stood beside President Bush at the signing of NCLB.

AFT long maintained in public that NCLB was basically an "unfunded" mandate, and publicly clamored for more funding for NCLB. Kennedy and Miller followed their lead. When NCLB came up for reauthorization in 2007, however, widespread national opposition to the law was even heard inside the Beltway in Washington, D.C., and at the offices of the two national teacher unions . . . By mid-2007, it was clear that NCLB was in trouble, and even its staunchest supporters inside the Democratic Party were being forced to retreat. Rep. Miller returned to his home district in California to find himself followed by teachers and others who were actively opposing NCLB. . .

By the summer of 2007, two of the contenders for the nomination (U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and Governor Richardson of New Mexico) told people across the county that there were opposed to NCLB, and that the law should be eliminated. The two leading contenders for the Democratic Party nomination -- New York Senator Hillary Clinton and Illinois Senator Barack Obama -- were less emphatic in their opposition to the renewal of NCLB. Both continued throughout the 2008 primary season to discuss NCLB as if it might be improved, and not simply eliminated. . .

Although U.S. Senator Barack Obama appeared before a high-priced fundraiser at one of the two main convention hotels on the night of July 11, his campaign has continued to announce that his address to the AFT will be by satellite, as he addressed the NEA two weeks earlier. Many at the AFT convention consider Obama's refusal to appear in person before the convention a personal snub. Chicago's teachers were among the first supporters Obama had when he was gathering support for the Democratic Party nomination for the U.S. Senate in 2003 and early 2004. In fact, without the support of the Illinois Federation of Teachers, Obama would not have received the backing of the Cook County Democratic Party and the junior senator from Illinois today would be Dan Hynes, a member of a prominent Democratic Party family in Chicago who was the early favorite in 2003 for the nomination. By July 11, there was some speculation that Obama was reconsidering his decision to snub the AFT as he had snubbed the NEA by refusing to appear in person.

JUNE 2008

TEACHERS RUNNING SCHOOLS IN MILWAUKEE

WHAT WAS BEHIND NO CHILD LAW?

GUIDE TO NO CHILD OUTRAGES

MAY 2008

NO TIME FOR CHILDHOOD

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BUSH'S READING PROGRAM A BUST

SEATTLE TEACHER SUSPENDED FOR REFUSING TO GIVE STANDARDIZED TEST

THE ISSUES THAT MAKE NO CHILD LAW SO CONTROVERSIAL

THE WAR AGAINST PUBLIC SCHOOLS: CORPORATIONS DESIGNING CURRICULA TO HELP RECRUIT WORKERS

PERCENTAGE OF MALE TEACHERS HITS 40-YEAR LOW

LOCAL HEROES: SCHOOL DISTRICT REBELS AGAINST NO CHILD LEFT LAW

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN KIDS STOP PLAYING OUTSIDE

ANOTHER REASON YOU MAY NOT WANT TO WRECK THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM

MAINE'S SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION MESS

ALTERNATIVE SCHOOLS GETTING A NEW LIFE

NEIL BUSH ZAPPED ON NO CHILD HUSTLE

NO CHILD LEFT SCHEME HAS BROUGHT FIVE TESTING FIRMS $2 BILLION

WHY IQ SCORES RISE WHILE READING AND MATH SCORES DON'T

BRITISH STUDY FINDS 7-11 YEAR OLDS STRESSED OUT BY NATIONAL TESTS, NEWS

NO CHILD FLUNKS OWN TEST

JONATHAN KOZOL BLOWS NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND OUT OF THE WATER

BRINGING BACK THE COMMUNITY SCHOOL .

APRIL 2008

THE ISSUES THAT MAKE NO CHILD LAW SO CONTROVERSIAL

JOAN INDIANA RIGDON, WASHINGTON LAWYER - According to its critics, NCLB has actually lowered education standards by forcing schools to obsess over testing while diverting some of their own funds-as well as huge chunks of classroom time-away from their own educational goals to do that testing.

Indeed, one thing we know from all the testing that is required is that the nation's students aren't making much progress under NCLB. Math scores, for instance, have risen under NCLB, but at a slower rate than they did before the law took effect. Reading scores have barely budged.

There's been book-cooking, too: Afraid of having their schools tagged as failures, which could mean large-scale staff replacement, or being forced to cede a school to private management, many states have assured themselves of improved results by dumbing down their assessment tests or lowering the definition of a passing grade. Technically, that's allowed, since NCLB requires students to be "proficient" but doesn't say what that means. . .

While many of NCLB's original backers have distanced themselves from the bill, even its chief architects, Massachusetts Democrat Sen. Edward Kennedy and California Democrat Rep. George Miller, are starting to criticize it. "Up until at least spring of last year, they were very resistant to legislative changes to the law and generally defenders of the law. They were critical of funding and critical of how the Bush administration was implementing the law, but they were not calling for a change to the statute itself," says the NEA's Packer. "This year they have significantly changed their tune and their tone."

Last summer, Miller declared the law "not fair," "not flexible," and "not funded." Last month, in a Washington Post op-ed on the eve of NCLB's sixth anniversary, Senator Kennedy ticked off some of its accomplishments, but then proceeded to roundly criticize it, writing that "its one-size-fits-all approach encourages 'teaching to the test' and discourages innovation in the classroom."

The National Conference of State Legislatures, which has long criticized NCLB, believes the law is hopelessly convoluted. Representative Miller's draft revision numbered 600 pages, compared to approximately 1,100 for the original. Says David Shreve, the NCSL's federal affairs counsel: "It's a terrible irony that you take 600 pages of amendments to fix 1,100 pages of messed up public policy, as if that's going to simplify and clarify it."

MARCH 2008

WHAT'S HAPPENING TO SCHOOLS

[This is the best piece we've seen on what NCLB, charter schools, reorganizations and other false school reforms are really about]

STEVEN MILLER AND JACK GERSON, EDUCATOR ROUNDTABLE - The "Tough Choices or Tough Times" report of the National Commission on Skills in the Workplace, funded in large part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and signed by a bipartisan collection of prominent politicians, businesspeople, and urban school superintendents, called for a series of measures including:

(a) replacing public schools with what the report called "contract schools", which would be charter schools writ large;

(b) eliminating nearly all the powers of local school boards - their role would be to write and sign the authorizing agreements for the "contract schools;

(c) eliminating teacher pensions and slashing health benefits; and

(d) forcing all 10th graders to take a high school exit examination based on 12th grade skills, and terminating the education of those who failed (i.e., throwing millions of students out into the streets as they turn 16).

These measures, taken together, would effectively cripple public control of public education. They would dangerously weaken the power of teacher unions, thus facilitating still further attacks on the public sector. They would leave education policy in the hands of a network of entrepreneurial think tanks, corporate entrepreneurs, and armies of lobbyists whose priorities are profiting from the already huge education market while cutting back on public funding for schools and students.

Indeed, their measures would mean privatization of education, effectively terminating the right to a public education, as we have known it. Many of the most powerful forces in the country want the US, the first country to guarantee public education, to be the first country to end it.

For the last fifty years, public education was one of only two public mandates guaranteed by the government that was accessible to every person, regardless of income. Social Security is the other. Now both systems are threatened with privatization schemes. The government today openly defines its mission as protecting the rights of corporations above everything. Thus public education is a rare public space that is under attack.

The same scenario is being implemented with most of the services that governments used to provide for free or at little cost: electricity, national parks, health care and water. In every case, the methodology is the same: underfund public services, create an uproar and declare a crisis, claim that privatization can do the job better, deregulate or break public control, divert public money to corporations and then raise prices.

In the past year, it's become evident that the corporate surge against public schools is only part of a much broader assault against the public sector, against unions, and indeed against the public's rights and public control of public institutions.

This has been evident for some time now in New Orleans, where Hurricane Katrina's devastation is used as an excuse for permanently privatizing the infrastructure of a major American city: razing public housing and turning land over to developers; replacing the city's public school system with a combination of charter schools and state-run schools; letting the notorious Blackwater private army loose on the civilian population; and, in the end, forcing tens of thousands of families out of the city permanently. The citizens of New Orleans have had their civil rights forcibly expropriated.

Just as the shock of the hurricane was the excuse for the shock therapy applied to New Orleans, so the economic downturn triggered by the subprime mortgage crisis is now the excuse for a national assault on the public sector and the public's rights. . .

In public education, the corporate surge has grown both qualitatively and quantitatively. Where two years ago the corporate education change agents were mainly operating in a relatively small number of large urban areas, they have now surfaced everywhere. The corporatization of public education is the leading edge of privatization. This has the effect of silencing the public voice on every aspect of the situation.

Across the US, public schools are not yet privatized, though private services are increasingly benefiting from this market. However, increasing corporate control of programs - a different mix in every locale - is having a chilling influence on the very things that people (though not corporations) want from teachers: the ability to relate to and teach each child, a nurturing approach that nudges every child to move ahead, human assessments that put people before performance on standardized tests.

Perhaps the single most dramatic development of the corporate approach was the launching of the $60 million Strong American Schools - Ed in '08 initiative, funded by billionaires Bill Gates and Eli Broad. This is a naked effort to purchase the nation's education policy, no matter who is elected President, by buying their way into every electoral forum.

Ed in '08 has a three-point program: merit pay (basing teachers' compensation on students' scores on high stakes test); national education standards (enforcing conformity and rote learning); and longer school day and school year (still more time for rote learning, less time for kids to be kids. . .

Where two years ago charter schools were still viewed as experiments affecting a relatively small number of students, in 2007 the corporate privatizers - led by Broad and Gates - grossly expanded their funding to the point where they now loom as a major presence.

In March, the Gates Foundation announced a $100 million donation to KIPP charter schools, which would enable them to expand their Houston operation to 42 schools (from eight) - effectively, KIPP will be a full-fledged alternative school system in Houston. Also in the past year, Eli Broad and Gates have given in the neighborhood of $50 million to KIPP and Green Dot charter schools in Los Angeles, with the aim of doubling the percentage of LA students enrolled in charter schools. Oakland, another Broad/Gates targets, now has more than 30 charter schools out of 92. And, as we shall see below, the same trend holds across the country.

NCLB in 2008 is still a major issue. It continues to have a corrosive effect on public schools. It is designed an unfunded mandate, which means that schools must meet ever rigid standards every year, though no more money is appropriated to support this effort. This means that schools must take ever-more money out of the class room to meet federal requirements when schools with low test scores are in "Program Improvement". Once schools are in PI for 5 years they can be forced into privatization.

NCLB is a driving force that decimates the "publicness" in public schools. In California, more than 2000 schools are now in "Program-Improvement". This means that they have to meet certain specific, and mostly impossible standards, or they must divert increasingly greater amounts of money out of the classroom and into private programs.

For example, schools in 3rd year PI must take money out of programs that helped schools with a high proportion of low achieving schools and make it available to private tutors. . .

Privatizing public schools inevitable leads to massive increase in social inequality. Private corporations have never been required to recognize civil rights, because, by definition, these are public rights. If the corporate privatizers succeed in taking over our schools, there will be neither quality education nor civil rights.

The system of public education in the United States is deeply flawed. While suburban schools are among the best in the world, public education in cities has been deliberately underfunded and is in a shambles. The solution is not to fight backwards to maintain the old system. Rather it is to fight forward to a new system that will truly guarantee quality education as a civil right for everyone.

Central to this is to challenge the idea that everything in human society should be run by corporations, that only corporations and their political hacks have the right or the power to discuss what public policy should be. . .

The real direction is to increase the role and power of the public in every way, not eliminate it. . .

FOR FULL REPORT, EMAIL STEVE MILLER

CORPORATIONS DESIGNING CURRICULA TO HELP RECRUIT WORKERS

ANNE MARIE CHAKER, WALL STREET JOURNAL - In a recent class at Abraham Clark High School in Roselle, N.J., business teacher Barbara Govahn distributed glossy classroom materials that invited students to think about what they want to be when they grow up. Eighteen career paths were profiled, including a writer, a magician, a town mayor -- and five employees from accounting giant Deloitte LLP. .

.
The curriculum, provided free to the public school by a nonprofit arm of Deloitte, aims to persuade students to join the company's ranks. One 18-year-old senior in Ms. Govahn's class, Hipolito Rivera, says the company-sponsored lesson drove home how professionals in all fields need accountants. "They make it sound pretty good," he says.

Deloitte and other corporations are reaching out to classrooms -- drafting curricula while also conveying the benefits of working for the sponsor companies. Hoping to create a pipeline of workers far into the future, these corporations furnish free lesson plans and may also underwrite classroom materials, computers or training seminars for teachers.

The programs represent a new dimension of the business world's influence in public schools. Companies such as McDonald's Corp. and Yum Brands Inc.'s Pizza Hut have long attempted to use school promotions to turn students into customers. The latest initiatives would turn them into employees.

 

TESTING

BACK TO TOP

A NYC principal writes her parents about the latest required tests

If testing is so great, why don't private schools do more?

More than 6,000 Long Island students opt out of Common Core tests

Resistance to standardized testing growing nationwide

Long time teacher quits in protest

Child abuse update

Seattle teachers boycott standardized tests

What the test tyrants leave out of education

The role of standardized testing in ADHD

How the test tyrants are destroying arts education

Word: Jerry Brown on the test tryants

Maryland rigs its school test scores

2013

Test scores now being linked to teachers' licenses

School testing shows how rich you are, not how smart

What's wrong with high stakes testing

Testing the life out of pre-schoolers

Some students spend a month and a half preparing for, and taking, tests

Race to the bottom: New Orleans plans to test 3 and 4 year olds

How the test tyrants damage children who are different

Memo warned of mass cheating on DC school tests

Test tyrants invade physical education

Oklahoma deals with federal child abuse

Inside the Atlanta school testing fraud
 
50 ways adults in schools ‘cheat’ on standardized tests
 
Excerpts from Atlanta indictment in test cheating scandal

Thirty-five Atlanta Public Schools educators, including principals, superintendents and teachers, indicted on racketeering charges for changing answers on state exams

Protest: Out of a possible 810 students, the administration of Seattle's Garfield High School was able to test only 118

60% of accomplished adults bombed standardized high school exam

Teaching eight year olds to write like bankers

The education issue we don't talk about

Test tyrants even abusing kindergarteners

Chicago teachers union joins fight against high stakes testing

Leading educators support Seattle teachers' test strike

Seattle school test revolt grows

The problem with multiple choice tests

2012

Teach to the test (and ad revenue)

Test rebellion update

Some problems with high stakes testing

Why high stakes school testing may be badly misleading

Word: the politics of school testing

Florida school districts give as many as 62 tests a year

USA Today investigation raises more questions about DC test scores

Full list of words and phrases NYC ed department bans from standardized tests

Test tyrants try to destroy a children's reading corner

Newspaper finds suspicious student test scores across the nation

Only 7% of teachers see standardized tests as essential

Why are third graders tested longer than law school applicants?

How the test tyrants are ruining education: one teacher's analysis

Colorado test tyrants go after child for opting out of exam

Test tyrants try to destroy a children's reading corner

Jerry Brown stands up against the test tyrants

Test tyrants attack Swiss schools

2011

SAT test taker for hire says cheating was easy

Parents, teachers organizing against corporatized testing

Reading one book improves test scores more than extending school day

Successful adult tests school tests. . .and flopsWhy teachers oppose test tyranny

The abuse of testing in Chicago schoolsThree teachers take on test tyrants

40% of DC teachers offered bonuses turn them down

Telling third graders about school budget cuts

Survey: Pressure for Michigan teachers to cheat is rampant

Questions the test tyrants won't answer

Some real standardized test data Arne Duncan doesn't reveal

Investigation raises questions about DC school test scores

The Test Teacher Anthem

The lie about test scores and 'economic competitiveness'

My life as a test scorer

Test scores show common sense left behind in school reform

High ranking Atlanta school official says superintendent ordered destruction of evidence of test cheating

NJ school reform: no experience needed

2010

80% OF AMERICANS DON'T LIKE TEST SCORE MANIA

WHY TESTING FAILS OUR SCHOOLS

WHY VALUE ADDED TEACHER TESTING IS A BUST

SCHOOL SYSTEMS RESORTING TO FRAUD TO IMPROVE SCORES

HOW TO IMPROVE TEST SCORE: CHEAT

DUMB STANDARDS DON'T PRODUCE SMART STUDENTS

CONFLICTING NEW YORK RESULTS FLUNK TEST OBSESSION

SAT SCORES HIGHLIGHT SCHOOL REFORM FRAUD

SO WHAT NOW? A STANDARDIZED JUNGLE GYM TEST?

TEST TYRANTS DOING AWAY WITH RECESS

2009

NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND . . .UNTIL THEY TAKE THE SAT

HOW PUBLIC SCHOOL TEST TYRANTS CHEAT THEIR STUDENTS

PLAYING GAMES WITH SCHOOL TESTING

TAKING TESTS IS NOT LEARNING

LG OFFERS TESTING TRANSLATION TOOL FOR PARENTS

THE DANGERS OF SCHOOL TESTING ADDICTION

LOCAL HEROES: SEATTLE TEACHER SUSPENDED FOR REFUSING TO GIVE STANDARDIZED TEST

 

THE PERPS

BACK TO TOP

Pearson now can drug your kids who don't pass their tests

Bezos, like Don Graham, deep into war on public education

The page that explains just what Arnie Duncan, Bill Gates & Michele Rhee are really about

The cons of test profiteers (including test questions that favor their books and product placement)

School 'reformer' Joel Klein now advising Murdoch

Foundation bribery of school systems continues

Child abuse in Texas. . .funded by your tax dollars

Massachusetts ups war on teachers

Detroit plans big increase in class size

NYC plans to fire 4100 teachers but spend $1 billion on education consultants

How three foundations are damaging public education

Cathie Black and the collapse of public education

2010

WHY IS WAL-MART MONEY TELLING DC HOW TO RUN ITS SCHOOLS?

PUBLIC EDUCATION: ROTTEN TO THE COMMON CORE

OBAMA'S EDUCATION STANDARDS ROTTEN TO A COMMON CORE DESIGNED BY CORPORATE CONTRACTOR

ANDREW CUOMO JOINS THE ANTI-PUBLIC SCHOOL GANG