"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Education Jobs Opportunities in the Global Economy


Adequate Yearly Progress Authentication Auctioneer


Business Roundtable/Broad Foundation Batdung Bagman


Charter Schools Cootie Covenant Coach


DIBELS Doo-doo Data Depository Debriefer


Education Week  Eco-Corporate Evangelist


Fordham Foundation Flatulence Fandango Franchiser


Global Economy Grammar School Gulag Gaffer


Hoover Institution Hubris Hoo-Ha Homeboy


IEP Information-Superhighway Iron-on Icon Impresario


Juvenile Justice Jingoism Juggler


Kindergarten Kangaroo Court Kingpin


LearnZillion Legerdemain Litterbox Lieutenant


Mayoral Control Manifest Destiny Monopoly Memorabiliast


NCLB Numbers Necromancer


Online Output Overflow-valve Optimization Occultist


Phonemic Awareness  Poppycock Peddler


Quick-and-Dirty-Certification Quagmire Quizmaster


Relay Graduate School  Robo-rigor Retrofit Revisionist


Stand for Schools  Softshoe Systems-theory Shakeout Spook


Teacher union Thirty-three-tier taxonomy Triage Trafficker


U. S. Department of Education Ultimate Upheaval UnderSecretary


Vassal-in-Classroom  Value-added Vivisectionist


Workbook-without-borders Wreckage Wholesaler


Xenophia Xpert


Yuck-factor Yackety-yak-yak Yield Yeoman


Zone-of-Proximal-Abuse Zapper

Note: This list has been updated since it first appeared in Substance,  April 2006 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Charter Schools More Segregated w/Fewer Learning Opps

Another page from the new GAO Report that reports the segregating and dumbing down effects of charters, when compared to neighborhood public schools and magnet schools. This shows the inequity with regards to advanced courses and gifted and talented programs.  From Figure 7, p. 21:

WikiLeaks reveals: Hillary Clinton plotted corporate charter school colonialism for Haiti

“Worse, Clinton’s “boarding school” socialization and structure idea sounds more like assimilation than education. Shocking and scarily reminiscent of other U.S. ventures in segregating classes of “other” people. Native Americans were also thought to be in need of “education” to work differently in groups and to be in need of structure.”— Daun Kauffman

WikiLeaks released the Hillary Clinton Email Archive mid-March 2016. Many users were searching for terms like hedge fund manager, Goldman Sachs, or, as the example in the WikiLeaks boolean tutorial: "syria libya will show results…" I decided to search for familiar phases of the neoliberal corporate education reform camp. I struck pay-dirt on my first try with "charter schools." Note my excitement on the day of discovery

In one thread Clinton and her cabal talk about a colonial project to remake earthquake stricken Haiti's education system using disaster capitalism, much in the way author Naomi Klein describes what happened in New Orleans:

In sharp contrast to the glacial pace with which the levees were repaired and the electricity grid brought back online, the auctioning-off of New Orleans' school system took place with military speed and precision. Within 19 months, with most of the city's poor residents still in exile, New Orleans' public school system had been almost completely replaced by privately run charter schools.

Before getting to the content of the email, it's important to contextualize the Clinton's relationship with the island nation. When not facilitating the orchestration of coups in Latin America, bombing the Near East and Africa into the stone age, or providing full-throated support for apartheid states, Clinton is meddling in Haiti. Lots of good pieces on the Clintons and Haiti in publications like Counterpunch and Black Agenda Report, but this excerpt from an essay by Shadowproof's Roqayah Chamseddine is an excellent summary:

WikiLeaks reveals: Hillary Clinton planned corporate charter school colonialism for Haiti, photo credit www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10209151080035791&set=a.1444118904652.2059706.1283508895&type=3&theater

In 2010, Hillary Clinton visited Haiti as part of a public relations stunt that allowed her to see firsthand the devastation wrought by the earthquake that killed at least 100,000. This performance was primarily meant to demonstrate solidarity and show the international community that the United States would be there to help in reconstruction efforts. Yet, her visit came less than a year after the U.S. State Department, then led by Clinton, had pressured the government of Haiti into denying laborers a wage increase of $0.62.

Dan Caughlin and Kim Ives of Haïti Liberté reported the U.S. Embassy in Haiti aggressively pressured “factory owners [in Haiti] contracted by Levi’s, Hanes, and Fruit of the Loom to block a paltry minimum wage increase for Haitian assembly zone workers, the lowest paid in the hemisphere.” In statements reminiscent of the Clinton campaign’s recent charges against Sanders, Deputy Chief of Mission David E. Lindwall called the proposed $5 minimum wage for Haitian assembly zone workers one which “did not take economic reality into account” but that was meant to appeal to the “unemployed and underpaid masses.”

Haiti has long been a kind of pet project for the Clintons, and they’ve often spoken of “falling in love with Haiti” during their honeymoon. But the love isn’t mutual by any means, and Haitians across the U.S. have made this increasingly clear by way of protests spotlighting the catastrophe the Clintons have left behind. Dahoud Andre, a radio host who has organized protests in New York, is quoted by the New York Times as saying that “a vote for Hillary Clinton means further corruption, further death and destruction for our people.”

Since the email I'll be discussing is accessible here, and is somewhat long, I will not reproduce it in its entirety. Rather, I'll draws excerpts from sections and discuss them. Secretary Clinton forwarded the email in question to one of her assistants, Lauren Jiloty. It was written by neoliberal corporate education reform cheerleader David Domenici in response to Clinton's wanting suggestions on how to capitalize on the Haitian disaster. Charter school profiteer Domenici has no background in pedagogy, has never worked at a public school, "worked in finance", and is a Senior Fellow for the right-wing think-tank Center for American Progress. His biography reads like those of most of his ilk: "He felt that an understanding of the law coupled with his understanding of the financial world would help frame his sense of how best to generate positive social change." It is with this profound ignorance of education and pedagogy that Domenici crafted the Clinton Colonial Education Corps plan. That former Secretary Clinton relied on a venture capitalist for education policy advice speaks volumes, and foreshadows some very frightening prospects should she capture the Presidency.

From: Hillary Clinton
To: Lauren Jiloty
Date: 2010-01-18 19:23

UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05772910 Date: 08/31/2015

From: H hrod17@clintonemail.com
Sent: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 7:23 AM
To: 'JilotyLC@state.gov'
Subject: Fw: Hope you are well, where ever you get this-- below are ideas re: education corps for Haiti that you asked for

From: David Domenici
Sent: Monday, January 18, 2010 7:55 PM
To: 'Mills, Cheryl D'; 'Cheryl Mills'
Subject: Hope you are well, where ever you get this-- below are ideas re: education corps for Haiti that you asked for

UNCLASSIFIED U.S. Department of State Case No. F-2014-20439 Doc No. C05772910 Date: 08/31/2015
Hey Cheryl,

It's important to establish who was sending what to who.

Here are some quick thoughts on re-building school infrastructure in Port-au-Prince. Feel free to share with whomever you'd like.

I have little idea of the larger context here — how many schools/kids are we looking at, but one thing we've learned in the US in the last 5 years is that good teachers are the #1 lever of change in education. If we got 1,000 really great teachers into Port-au-Prince (w/ even a modicum of support and materials), they'd make a big difference and touch the lives of 30,000-60,000 kids.

Here Domenici perpetuates the most common falsehood from the reformers' talking point list, that good/great teachers are the number one factor affecting students. He's dead wrong, and this misrepresentation of fact needs correction.

It's not that teaching isn't important—quite the contrary, but teaching is a minority factor in group of factors impacting students. Even more so in the abject conditions of post-earthquake Haiti, which was already an impoverished nation due to U.S. economic imperialism. It's doubtful that Domenici or Clinton have actually read about this outside their small insular world of edreform, where policy papers are passed off as research. However, depending on which study we rely on, teachers at most comprise 10 to 20 percent of factors for achievement outcomes. The distinguished Dr. Paul L. Thomas has written on this, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has funded major studies, edreform darling Eric A. Hanushek has documented it, as have many others. Some selected sources:

Di Carlo: But in the big picture, roughly 60 percent of achievement outcomes is explained by student and family background characteristics (most are unobserved, but likely pertain to income/poverty). Observable and unobservable schooling factors explain roughly 20 percent, most of this (10-15 percent) being teacher effects. The rest of the variation (about 20 percent) is unexplained (error). In other words, though precise estimates vary, the preponderance of evidence shows that achievement differences between students are overwhelmingly attributable to factors outside of schools and classrooms (see Hanushek et al. 1998; Rockoff 2003; Goldhaber et al. 1999; Rowan et al. 2002; Nye et al. 2004).

Rothstein: The 2/3 — 1/3 breakdown between family background and school influences  was the core finding of the 1966 federal study, the “Coleman Report.”  But this interpretation of the report overstates its finding about the  influence of schools, because Coleman and his colleagues considered the  influence of a child’s schoolmates (“peer effects”) to be a school  factor, not an out-of-school factor. (Coleman, James S., and Ernest Q.  Campbell, Carol J. Hobson, James McPartland, Alexander M. Mood, Frederic  D. Weinfeld, and Rober L. York, Equality of Educational Opportunity,  Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare,  Government Printing Office, 1966.) Yet the only way to affect the  composition of peers in the neighborhood schools he studied would be to  change the composition of neighborhoods, with housing integration  policies, for example. Of the in-school influences, the Coleman Report  identified teacher quality (defined by teacher characteristics such as  their educational attainment and experience) to be most important.

In the context of post-earthquake Haiti, understanding that we cannot rely on teachers alone to make up for the crushing poverty, multiple traumas, and lack of infrastructure, is critical. While we certainly want all children in Haiti to have access to education, the idea that we can ignore the rest of the issues they're facing reeks of colonialism and callousness.

I think this is totally doable, in short-order, in a magnificent way that could set the foundation for a well-educated generation of Haitians who could lead the country out of poverty, to self-sustainability, self-governance and openness.

Never mind that Haitian poverty is a result of U.S. transnational corporations depressing wages (cf Secretary Clinton's intervention in Haiti's attempt to raise minimum wage discussed supra). Pay no attention to the blatantly racist and colonialist notion that but for U.S. intervention, there would never be a "well-educated generation of Haitians". Ignore the fact that every attempt by Haitians to create self-sustainability and self-governance has been thwarted by U.S. interventions. Corporate education reform will correct all these things in "short-order" under the new Clinton Education Corps plan.

There were four goals listed for the Clinton Colonial Education Corps plan. Domenici enumerates them as:

  • Goal 1: Human Capital
  • Goal 2: Build a robust curriculum and teacher instruction program
  • Goal 3: Build high quality, durable schools that entice families, children into education
  • Goal 4: Create family, community impetus for all school age children to be in school

Goal 1: Human Capital:

Create Haiti Teacher Corps. Model loosely off of Peace Corps/Teach for America, CityYear Teacher corps (US): Recruit, train, and place 500-1000 teachers from US this spring and summer. We can do this.

* * *

o Language/culture training: TDB — find the best folks out there to train in French/Creole, and Haitian culture, current socio-political situation — 50% of the training program.

o Academic training: We'll work w/ TFA and others and develop 8 week intensive teacher training program for other 50% of program.

Being a business-finance type, Domenici is quite at home writing about how to make other people do work. This is the longest section of his piece, so only small portion will be addressed here. The most frightening thing is that he pushes the Teach for America (TFA) model, which at best is a paternalistic, colonial model. Clinton's advisor then outlines his program for "training" that is eight weeks long. At first blush, this is a vast improvement over TFA's woefully deficient standard five week model. That is until we take into account that they want these recruits "to train in French/Creole, and Haitian culture" simultaneously. While the self-congratulatory reformsters all consider themselves "elite", it's somewhat absurd that eight weeks is all that's allotted for all this content. To contextualize, at its shortest point, clown college was eight weeks. In essence, Clinton's cabal feel that the best Haitian students deserve is people with no more training than clowns.

Haiti-based: Less clear what the teacher-leader pipeline is like...but we can figure out and get whoever we can.

Clinton's advisor Domenici consistently speaks of the Haitian people as somewhat of an afterthought. They are someone you do "for" or "to", but never "with". That this wealthy, white male consistently leaves the agency of Haitians out of the equation is completely in line with the white supremacist lens that both he and Hillary Clinton see the world through.

Much of the rest of this section deals with how cheaply they'd like to see all the labor paid. Interestingly, this is in line with how Clinton's State Department kept Haitian wages low in order to sate corporate capital. Domenici asserts that there's plenty of young charter school types that are willing to make the sacrifices that neither he, nor any of his peers would ever make. The finance capitalist then turns his attentions to the next goal.

I am not a curriculum expert, but I think this is really doable, as well, so long as we get the right team […]

Clinton's fellow corporate reformer is refreshingly honest here. Not only is he not a "curriculum expert", he's not even a novice. When we look at his notions of "Backwards Mapping" and "clusters and in modules that can be swapped in and out", it's clear that Domenici is pushing what Paulo Freire termed "the banking model of pedagogy", that is, that students are vessels into which corporate reformers pour knowlege into. This model works well for maintaining oppression, and would serve to perpetuate the United States' existing historical relationship with Haiti.

Reading this section reminds one of just how profoundly ignorant neoliberal corporate eduction reform types are. This may be the one individual less knowledgeable than Arne Duncan or John King on education issues, which would likely mean a potential Clinton administration would tap him to head the Education Department. If Domenici is one thing, he's buzzword compliant. Every phrase and term for the reformy canon is on display in his missive to the Wall Street funded Presidential candidate who spent many years on Walmart's board of directors.

Consider technology and technology infrastructure as a part of the initial construction plan so it's not add-on later.

Hillary Clinton and Cheryl Mills' education "expert" would be remiss if he wasn't providing profit vectors for Reed Hastings, Bill Gates, and Pearson, PLC. The rest of his section for goal three is quite reminiscent of the Naomi Klein quote supra, where she discusses destroyed infrastructure being ignored in favor of school privatization happening with "speed and precision". Domenici does disaster capitalism with the best of them.

The corporatist's final section suggests wrap-around services, something that those of us in the social justice camp are certainly in favor of. However, Clinton's confidant can't seem to keep his paternalism in check. He asserts that if his plan is followed, that it will "be a catalyst for socio-political change". We discussed above how Haiti's problems are due to U.S. economic imperialism, and seemingly endless interventionism in the country's affairs. To suggest that their problems stem from a lack of education is that special kind of victim blaming that corporate reformers are so adept at. It also smacks of how neoliberal Democrats, as Thomas Frank so succinctly puts it, "see every economic problem as an educational problem".

Domenici is an elitist from the finance capital sector, and had been asked by a Secretary of State whose Wall Street ties are like no other to advise her on educational policy for Haiti. So it's no small wonder that he ends his email with:

Gotta run. See you shortly.



It's no surprise that the woman who refers to children of color as "super-predators", insisting that "we have to bring them to heel", would search out such a racist education plan to inflict on a Haitian population decimated as much by the Clintons' free-trade deals as by natural disasters. Like the distinguished Professor Michelle Alexander says, Hillary Clinton uses "racially coded rhetoric to cast black children as animals." While Haiti was spared this horrific, colonial charter school plan hatched by Clinton and her corporate advisors, we can expect more of the same if she somehow comes to power again. We need to organize and prepare to fight against her racist penchant for neoliberal corporate education reform.

While not Hillary Clinton specific, Jesse Hagopian has an excellent piece entitled: Shock-Doctrine Schooling in Haiti: Neoliberalism Off the Richter Scale

Monday, May 23, 2016

Charter Solution Magnifies Segregation Problem

It is ironic that the ESEA, which was intended to break down school segregation, has been succeeded 60 years later by the latest version of the same legislation, now known as ESSA, which provides extra fuel to the segregation engine (charter schools).  A clip from the summary of a new study by the GAO.  Much more on this later:
The percentage of K-12 public schools in the United States with students who are poor and are mostly Black or Hispanic is growing and these schools share a number of challenging characteristics. From school years 2000-01 to 2013-14 (the most recent data available), the percentage of all K-12 public schools that had high percentages of poor and Black or Hispanic students grew from 9 to 16 percent, according to GAO's analysis of data from the Department of Education (Education). These schools were the most racially and economically concentrated: 75 to 100 percent of the students were Black or Hispanic and eligible for free or reduced-price lunch—a commonly used indicator of poverty. GAO's analysis of Education data also found that compared with other schools, these schools offered disproportionately fewer math, science, and college preparatory courses and had disproportionately higher rates of students who were held back in 9th grade, suspended, or expelled.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Pushing Too Hard for STEM

Submitted to the Washington Post, May 19, 2016.

"Obama wants to hear what children have to say about science education,"(May 19) as part of a White House effort to expand STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education The assumption behind all this is the belief that there is a serious shortage of science and technology experts.
There isn't.  Rutgers University professor Hal Salzman has concluded that there are approximately three qualified graduates annually for each science or technology opening. Recent studies have also shown the United States is producing more Ph.D.s in science than the market can absorb. 
Also, we don't know what our needs will be by the time today's elementary school children finish school.  As Yogi Berra put it, "It is hard to predict, especially about the future."
It is a mistake to shove young people into math and science careers when it isn't right for them. It makes more sense to help students develop their own talents and interests,to help them find what they like and are good at, and help them get better at it.
The world needs a wide variety of  talents: Distinguished psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and his colleagues explain: "If we were all more or less alike, humans would grow into narrowly specialized organisms. It would be difficult for us to adapt to changing conditions ..."

Stephen Krashen

Original article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/obama-wants-to-hear-what-children-have-to-say-about-science-education/2016/05/18/6290f1ba-1d38-11e6-8c7b-6931e66333e7_story.html

Surplus: Salzman, H. & Lowell, B. L. 2007. Into the Eye of the Storm: Assessing the Evidence on Science and Engineering Education, Quality, and Workforce Demand. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1034801
Salzman, H. and Lowell, L. 2008. Making the grade. Nature 453 (1): 28-30.
Salzman, H. 2012. No Shortage of Qualified American STEM Grads (5/25/12) http://www.usnews.com/debate-club/should-foreign-stem-graduates-get-green-cards/no-shortage-of-qualified-american-stem-grads.
Teitelbaum, M. 2014. Falling Behind? Boom, Bust & the Race of Scientific Talent. Princeton.
Weismann, J. 2013. More Ph.D's than the market can absorb: The Ph.D Bust: America's Awful Market for Young Scientists—in 7 Charts. The Atlantic, Feb 20, 2013. http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/02/the-phd-bust-americas-awful-market-for-young-scientists-in-7-charts/273339/

Diversity: Csikszentmihalyi, M. Rathunde, K. & Whalen, S. (1993). Talented teenagers: The roots of success and failure. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.  Quote on page 8.

Stephen Krashen was a student in the first AP calculus class taught in the United States, uses math in his work, and loves all aspects of science and math. But he believes that STEM isn't for everybody, and is grateful that President Obama decided to study law, rather than mechanical engineering or chemistry.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Angela Duckworth Ducking KIPP and Relay Connections


As a close protege of Dr. Martin Seligman, Angela Duckworth serves as Seligman's point person in moving his brand of paternalistic corporate psychology and character control into schools that teach the children of the poor.  Central to that role, Duckworth works closely with KIPP co-founder, David Levin, to test out and fine tune Seligman's methods with school children who serve as KIPP guinea pigs.

This is from the KIPP website:

KIPP’s innovative approach is grounded in the research of Dr. Martin Seligman and the late Dr. Chris Peterson (the “fathers“ of Positive Psychology). Building off a partnership with KIPP NYC, Dr. Angela Duckworth and the Riverdale Country School, KIPP’s character work focuses on seven highly predictive character strengths that are correlated to leading engaged, happy and successful lives: zest, grit, optimism, self-control, gratitude, social intelligence, and curiosity. 

Duckworth is co-founder and Scientific Director of what she and Levin call the "Character Lab," which has as it creepy eugenics-sounding goal, "to advance the science and practice of character development."  

What is referred to as "character development" is assessed by "performance character" checklists and report cardsIn fact, the Character Lab has developed a "character growth card" for teachers to use to grade each student.  It includes, too, a column for student self assessment for the "character strengths" listed in the quote above from the KIPP website. 

Below is a question and answer from an interview conducted by the Walton Foundation with Angela Duckworth in 2015, which may give you some insights into why the Walton family would be interested in supporting Duckworth's work:

If you had a crystal ball, what would you predict teaching character would look like 10 years from now? 

Angela: My optimistic crystal ball would see that there are developed options that have real scientific research behind them. We will say to teachers from elementary school, if not earlier, all the way through high school, if not later: if you’re helping kids learn self-control, try this, if you feel like gratitude is important for your school community, try this. In addition to thinking about standalone interventions, we need to try to figure out how to get teachers to infuse character into their everyday practice. In the most successful cultures — if you look at high-performing military culture or sports culture — things are integrated.
Duckworth hopes to use her research on reshaping children's culture, er, character to influence, too, the corporate teacher prep enterprise known as Relay Graduate School of Education (see Relay stamp on video below).  In this video below, Duckworth talks about the kind of fine grating required to produce gritty kids who become oblivious to the effects of poverty as they continue to create the test scores needed to expand the KIPP Model networks of charter schools.

Since the recent publication of her book on grit, Duckworth has downplayed the idea and practice of grading grit, and she has tried to distance herself from the KIPP Model chain gang schools.  Even so, teachers, you can still download the "character growth card" from the Character Lab website, in case you want to get into the "non-cognitive" assessment business. 

Duckworth's book is obviously aimed at a much wider audience than just teachers of the "no excuses" hell schools.  How do we know?  Nothing above would indicate that "passion" among school children is required as the counterbalance for grit, but Duckworth's book and her recent book talking plays up this other element:
Grit, as Duckworth has defined it in her research, is a combination of perseverance and passion — it’s just that the former tends to get all the attention, while the latter is overlooked. “I think the misunderstanding — or, at least, one of them — is that it’s only the perseverance part that matters,” Duckworth told Science of Us. “But I think that the passion piece is at least as important. I mean, if you are really, really tenacious and dogged about a goal that’s not meaningful to you, and not interesting to you — then that’s just drudgery. It’s not just determination — it’s having a direction that you care about.”
I wonder how the passion got overlooked in all of Duckworth's previous work on reforming urban culture, er, character left out "passion."  Wonder why there is no mention of Character Lab, KIPP, Relay?  Perhaps Duckworth will write another book that details how she worked with Dave Levin to turn children into reliable test score production machines that can be exploited to expand the KIPP Model charter industry.

The end of standardized testing, or the beginning of testing every day?

Sent to the Detroit News, May 18, 2016
(MAJOR HAT TIP to Emily Talmage. San Diego: If it sounds too good to be true. https://emilytalmage.com/2016/05/07/san-diego-if-it-sounds-to-good-to-be-true/

“The end of standardized testing" may give way to something much worse (Labor Voices, May 17). While Michigan is apparently cutting back on end-of-the-year tests, there are signs that it will institute what could be daily testing, known as competency-based education.

Competency-based education consists of module after module of programmed instruction that students work through online and be tested on, which will drastically diminish the role of teachers and increase profits of technology companies.  The new education law announced grants for the development of these teach and test machines (sections 1201 and 1204).

The Michigan Department of Education website reads like an advertisement, and cheerfully tells us that "Competency-Based Education can help all students through flexible systems that support student success and allow for reporting of student competency that reflects student learning." In addition, Matchbook Learning, a school "turnaround" organization that is very active in several "low achieving schools" in Michigan relies heavily on Competency-Based Education. 

Neither the Michigan DOE nor Matchbook seem to be aware that that there is no hard research support for this expensive investment. A document written for Michigan's superintendents notes that "… there is currently no academic research demonstrating the effectiveness of K-12 competency-based education."   We have wasted billions of dollars and huge amounts of time on useless tests. Competency-based education might be an even bigger mistake. 

Stephen Krashen
Professor Emeritus
University of Southern California

Original article: http://www.detroitnews.com/story/opinion/2016/05/17/standardized-tests-change/84524666/

Michigan Dept of Education website: http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-28753_65803-322532--,00.html
Competency-based Education: An overview for Michigan's superintendents.  The General Education Leadership Network of the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators
Matchbook Learning: matchbooklearning.com
More information about competency-based education:
McDermott, M. 2015a. Reading between The Lines: Obama’s “Testing Action Plan”  http://educationalchemy.com/2015/10/25/reading-between-the-lines-obamas-testing-action-plan/
McDermott, M. 2015b. Common core and corporate colonization: the big picture. http://educationalchemy.com/2015/10/30/common-core-and-corporate-colonization-the-big-picture/
Robertson, P. 2015a. U.S. Dept. of Ed. and Educational Warfare. http://www.pegwithpen.com/2015/10/us-dept-of-ed-and-educational-warfare.html
Robertson, P. 2015b. Opt out revolution: the next wave. http://www.pegwithpen.com/2015/10/opt-out-revolution-next-wave.html
Talmage, E. 2015a. Dear Mark. http://emilytalmage.com/2015/11/14/dear-mark/
Talmage, E. 2015b. What is proficiency-based learning? http://emilytalmage.com/2015/04/26/save-maine-schools/
Talmage, E. 2016.  San Diego: If it sounds too good to be true. https://emilytalmage.com/2016/05/07/san-diego-if-it-sounds-to-good-to-be-true/

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Fox News writer blames schools for low wages. I respond.

Comment on P. Morici, ("Want to know why your wages are sinking, America? It starts with our schools," May 17, 2016) on fox news. com
Posted at: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/05/17/want-to-why-your-wages-are-sinking-america-it-starts-with-our-schools.html#

Peter Morici is badly misinformed when he says "fraud and wasted resources" in America's schools are the cause of low wages.
First, our schools are quite good. When researchers control for the impact of poverty, American students score near the top of the world on international test scores.  Our overall scores are unspectacular because child poverty is so high in the US, around 25%, the second highest of all industrialized countries. Poverty means, among other things, food deprivation, poor health care, and little access to books. The best teaching and most rigorous standards in the world will not mean anything if children are hungry, ill, and have little or nothing to read.  The problem is not fraud, waste, low standards, or teacher quality, or unions, or schools of education. The problem is poverty.

Despite the poverty problem, there is no shortage of scientifically-trained graduates. Rutgers University professor Hal Salzman has concluded that there are approximately three qualified graduates annually for each science or technology opening. Recent studies have also shown the United States is producing more Ph.D.s in science than the market can absorb.  About 1/3 of college-bound high-school students take calculus, and only about 5% of jobs require this much math. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, we will need 500,000 graduates in computer science by 2024. About 50,000 computer science majors are completing their education each year.

Stephen Krashen


Control for poverty: Payne, K. and Biddle, B. 1999. Poor school funding, child poverty, and mathematics achievement. Educational Researcher 28 (6): 4-13; Bracey, G. 2009. The Bracey Report on the Condition of Public Education. Boulder and Tempe: Education and the Public Interest Center & Education Policy Research Unit. http://epicpolicy.org/publication/Bracey-Report. Berliner, D. 2011. The Context for Interpreting PISA Results in the USA: Negativism, Chauvinism, Misunderstanding, and the Potential to Distort the Educational Systems of Nations. In Pereyra, M., Kottoff, H-G., & Cowan, R. (Eds.). PISA under examination: Changing knowledge, changing tests, and changing schools. Amsterdam: Sense Publishers. Tienken, C. 2010. Common core state standards: I wonder? Kappa Delta Phi Record 47 (1): 14-17. Carnoy, M and Rothstein, R. 2013, What Do International Tests Really Show Us about U.S. Student Performance. Washington DC: Economic Policy Institute. 2012. http://www.epi.org/).
Negative effect of poverty on school achievement: Berliner, D. 2009. Poverty and Potential:  Out-of-School Factors and School Success.  Boulder and Tempe: Education and the Public Interest Center & Education Policy Research Unit. Retrieved [date] from http://epicpolicy.org/publication/poverty-and-potential,

Surplus: Salzman, H. & Lowell, B. L. 2007. Into the Eye of the Storm: Assessing the Evidence on Science and Engineering Education, Quality, and Workforce Demand. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1034801
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San Diego replacing end-of-year tests with something much worse?

Comment posted at: "San Diego schools to reduce standardized testing, focus on achievement," http://sdnews.com/pages/full_story/push?id=27184365&content_instance=27184365&need_to_add=true#cb_post_comment_27184365

Not so fast. Emily Talmage has presented clear evidence that San Diego is replacing end-of-year tests with something much worse, much more expensive, and without demonstrated validity: Competency-based testing. This promises to result in even more testing than we had before.

Please see:
To read about competency-based testing, please see McDermott, M., Robertson. P., and Krashen, S. 2016. Language Magazine, January 16. http://languagemagazine.com/?page_id=125014
Posted at: http://skrashen.blogspot.com/2016/03/testing-all-time.html