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

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Why I will not be speaking at Southeast TESOL next week

I will not be speaking at the Southeast TESOL Association Meeting to be held in Myrtle Beach next week, because of a disagreement about my keynote topic.  I learned only recently that the conference theme was supporting the common core, that it was  "dedicated entirely to providing teachers with strategies for working with common core and all of the states in attendance have adopted it."

I therefore changed my topic to "The case against the common core." This was rejected by the SETESOL Executive Committee.  I was told that "this topic cannot be presented to this group of attendees. "  

I cannot in good conscience speak at a conference dedicated to the common core without presenting what I know about it.  I offered to present on my original topic as an extra talk, but this was rejected because of lack of space and time.

Eating the Golden Goose, or Corporate Consumption of Higher Ed

If the plutocrats at the corporate foundations can impose their loser strategies on higher education as they have on K12, the demise of the greatest university system in the world will then be assured.  Published at Alternet today.

TFA's PR Machine Lights It Up in Memphis with Front Page Stories of "Enchantment" and "Allure"

CorpEd bought Memphis City Schools with a 90 million dollar Gates Foundation grant in late 2009, and early in 2010 the TN Department of Education was gobbled up by a $501 million bribe from the Gates controlled US Dept. of Education's RTTT.  Thus began the slashing and burning of Memphis public schools in favor of corporate charters and the "surplussing," "excessing," and firing of teachers in favor of Teach for America's post-adolescent-and-white-privileged corporate missionaries.

On Monday CorpEd's dependable lackey reporter at the Commercial Appeal, Michael Kelley, did a glowing front page story on the growing TFA presence (thanks to the Walton Foundation) in Memphis, where over 42 percent of children live poverty and where black unemployment is almost 20 percent.  

To offer an example of Kelley's inaccurate reporting, there's this just under the fold:
Critics have long contended that TFA, which trains its teachers for the classroom in less than a year, is doing students a disservice when many of its teachers choose to move on after getting a taste of chalk.  
Really, less than a year?  How technically true can one reporter get!, for certainly the 5 weeks that TFA recruits prepare is less than a year.  And of that 5 weeks, less than 20 days is practice teaching.

And no, Michael Kelley, critics of TFA are not crying so much about these white privileged girls leaving after their two year stint.  Please leave.  We are screaming about the fact that the corporate reform losers running Memphis Schools are insisting on hiring them in the first place, particularly in schools that need most desperately the kind of mature, caring, and competent teachers that TFA can never provide, regardless of these eager youngsters' "enchantment" with teaching.  

So Michael Kelley, please do read this article from a TFA member, Olivia Blanchard, who wasn't so enchanted or allured by her complete lack of preparation for teaching 20 very needy children whose needs are not being met by well-intentioned missionaries who are being fed a thick sheaf of lies produced in the corporate think tanks.  Here are the intro paragraphs from The Atlantic:

I am sitting in a comfortable gold folding chair inside one of the many ballrooms at the Georgia International Convention Center. The atmosphere is festive, with a three-course dinner being served and children playing a big-band number. The kids are students at a KIPP academy in Atlanta, and they are serenading future teachers on the first night of a four-day-long series of workshops that will introduce us to the complicated language, rituals, and doctrines we will need to adopt as Teach for America "Corps Members." 
The phrase closing the achievement gap is the cornerstone of TFA's general philosophy, public-relations messaging, and training sessions. As a member of the 2011 corps, I was told immediately and often that 1) the achievement gap is a pervasive example of inequality in America, and 2) it is our personal responsibility to close the achievement gap within our classrooms, which are microcosms of America's educational inequality. 
These are laudable goals. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, white fourth-graders performed better than their black peers on 2007 standardized mathematics exams in all 46 states where results were available. In 2004, there was a 23-point gap in mathematics scale scores between white and black 9-year-olds, with the gap growing to 26 points for 13-year-olds. 
But between these two messages lies the unspoken logic that current, non-TFA teachers and schools are failing at the task of closing the achievement gap, through some combination of apathy or incompetence. Although TFA seminars and presentations never explicitly accuse educators of either, the implication is strong within the program's very structure: recruit high-achieving college students, train them over the summer, and send them into America's lowest-performing schools to make things right. The subtext is clear: Only you can fix what others have screwed up. It was an implication I noticed when an e-mail I received during Institute, the five-week training program, referring to “a system of students who have simply not been taught.” The e-mail explained, “That’s really what the achievement gap is—for all of the external factors that may or may not add challenges to our students’ lives—mostly it is that they really and truly have not been taught and are therefore years behind where they need to be.”

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Facts, Not the Spin, about Washington D.C.'s IMPACT Evaluation System

As U.C.L.A. School of Management Professor Samuel Culbert explained, a performance evaluation is as much of, "an expression of the evaluator's self-interests as it is a subordinate's attributes." Culbert argued that the institution of professional performance reviews is, "as destructive and fraudulent as it is ubiquitous." It is not just in educational evaluations where "almost every person and every person reviewing it knows it is bogus." Throughout the business world, there are plenty of people who believe that improved performance evaluations can improve productivity, but it is also hard to deny that evaluations are often about ego, control, intimidation, cronyism, and just enduring something that is a part of the job.

My experiences in with performance evaluations are consistent with Culbert’s analysis. Even so, economists who have no teaching experience often assume that better evaluations can drive school improvement.

The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) working paper, National Bureau of Economic Research James Wyckoff’s and Thomas Dee’s “Incentives, Selection, and Teacher Performance” has been spun as evidence supporting Washington D.C.’s teacher evaluation system, IMPACT. Even though the paper provides no evidence in that IMPACT has benefited students, the authors’ narrative and statements to the press make it clear that they are hoping that IMPACT will succeed. They seem to argue that carrots and sticks are a good management tool and IMPACT is doing what carrots and sticks, especially sticks, are supposed to do.(Given the quality of their work, it is no criticism of the authors to say that they would like IMPACT to be successful; Clearly, they are objective scholars.)

I don’t deny that I also have a perspective, but here’s a “thought experiment” about Wyckoff’s and Dee’s study. What if an objective reader read the evidence presented by Wyckoff and Dee? Wouldn’t an impartial reader conclude that they buried the lede? Does their evidence not indicate that IMPACT is failing even according to its own terms?

Two things jump out of their Table Three. Firstly, among “Minimally Effective” teachers, 19% were teachers (known as Group 1) whose value-added counted as 50% of their evaluations. Only 15% of Highly Effective teachers were Group 1. In other words, if you teach a tested subject and are thus subjected to value-added, you are more likely to have your career threatened and less likely to gain rewards for being highly effective.

Secondly, the table reports the IMPACT results for two samples of teachers. The first includes the 14% of teachers who were categorized as Highly Effective and more than 1700 teachers who were deemed Effective. The other sample Includes those same Effective teachers with about 300 (also about 14%) of teachers who were rated Minimally Effective. Since the whole point of value-added is that it is supposed to differentiate more precisely the effectiveness of teachers, shouldn't the sample that includes Highly Effective teachers produce a higher value-added than the sample with about the same number of Minimally Effective teachers? In fact, the less effective teachers had a lower value-added (by a statistically insignificant amount.)

None of the differences in IMPACT’s quantitative results, to this historian at least, seem be significant. Educators had to generate some evaluation metrics for the sake of having evaluation metrics. They can include homemade quantitative rubrics for the individual teacher (TAS) or for the school (CSC.) From this outsider’s perspective, they sound like busy work, and I bet a lot of D.C. teachers feel the same way. The less effective sample received a mean score of 2.98 on the TAS, in contrast to 3.10 for the highly effective sample. On the CSC, the less effective sample supposedly earned a 3.25 in comparison to the highly effective mean score of 3.30. The metric that should be more reliable, the TLF teacher observation, determined that the less effective teachers have a mean score that was only .11 lower.

The only differences that seem to be significant were produced by the Core Professionalism segment, which holds teachers accountable for the attendance and their professional conduct. Common sense says that that should be the most reliable metric and, sure enough, its mean difference was .37 or three times as great as the observation’s mean differences. That raises the question of whether a more modest approach would have been preferable. Rather than harass all teachers in an effort to root out bad teachers, would it not have been smarter to hold teachers accountable for their behavior, and terminate those who were not doing their jobs? Would it not have been smarter to have focused on what teachers actually do and hold teachers accountable for actually teaching, as opposed to creating such a divisive and stressful experiment?

The part of IMPACT that most impressed Wyckoff and Dee is that it imposes stress on teachers who are lower-rated. For argument's sake, however, let’s say that all of the 14% of the district’s teachers who were judged to be “Minimally Effective” were accurately placed in that category. Wyckoff and Dee proclaim IMPACT a success because about 20% just above the threshold for “Effective” left the school system at the end of a year while about 30% of teachers just below that threshold quit. Was it a good bargain for the D.C. schools to impose all of the stress and the other negative byproducts of IMPACT in order to speed the exit of such a small number?

The economists brag that a teacher who received a low rating is more likely to leave the district. But, wouldn’t a good teacher who received an unfair value-added rating be equally or more likely to leave? Since value-added models are systematically biased against teachers with classes of English language learned, special education students, and poor students, it seems likely that IMPACT will help drive teaching talent from schools where it is harder to raise test scores.

Common sense indicates that IMPACT and other value-added evaluations will soon result in a predictable behavior. Systems will have to play statistical games to inflate parts of teachers’ evaluations so they do not have to fire all the teachers who, fairly and unfairly, receive low rating on test score growth. As the authors acknowledge, D.C. has had much more money and thus a larger pool of replacement teachers. Even D.C., however, may already see the need to start playing those games so that they don’t lose irreplaceable teachers. The study includes a footnote which says:

In 2009-10 and 2010-11, the mean teacher value-added was equated to an IVA score of 2.5 with relatively few teachers receiving either a 1.0 or a 4.0. In 2011-12 the mean teacher value-added score was equated to an IVA score of 3.0 and the relatively more teachers were assigned to 1 and 4. This had the net effect of increasing average IVA scores by 0.25 in 2011-12. Because of these adjustments, we avoid any year-to-year comparisons for IMPACT scores or their components.

In other words, D.C. quietly reduced the short-term impact of the value-added component of IMPACT. In doing so, D.C. also talked tough about the rigor of future evaluations. But, talk is just talk. Or, at least, economists haven't started to quantify reformers' spin as they back away growling.

The bottom line for value-added evaluations is that they cannot determine whether a teacher’s failure to meet his growth target is due to his own ineffectiveness or the school’s ineffectiveness, peer pressure, or other factors. The bottom line for IMPACT is that it imposes a great deal of anguish, it is bound to increase teachers’ IMPACT scores, but there is no way of determining whether those numbers reflect any real improvements in instruction. Before long, I expect the overwhelming consensus of observers will recognize that the facts are the opposite of the reformers’ spin.

Chief for Change, Janet Barresi, Doubles Down on Meaningless School Grading System

Chief Barresi 
What if the scientific community reveals that a state school policy produces meaningless and misleading results that conceal deep inequalities and mask others?  If you are one of Jeb Bush's Chiefs, you smile, ignore the facts, and proceed as if nothing happened:

News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Terry Grier Makes Houston Schools Awful Enough to Win the Broad Prize

The picture above is of Arne Duncan and Eli Broad having a swell time at Barack Obama's inauguration party in 2008.  The picture below is Arne and Eli in 2013, this time accompanied by the poster boy for CorpEd's model of segregated urban reform schools, Terry Grier.  With his systemwide No Excuses model in place in Houston, Grier has made life so miserable for teachers and students alike that it has earned him this year's Broad Prize for Urban Education.  Last year 700 teachers had quit by January, which, of course, brings in more white corporate missionaries from TFA to replace real teachers.  These new positive psychology-induced Corp Members will fall on their clipboards for the Corporate Cause until they are discarded for a new crop.
The letter excerpted below was posted by Diane Ravitch at her blog in June.  It is from a Houston teacher who has witnessed what is happening to teachers and children in Houston's public schools. 
. . . .This letter is about a teacher awakening to the grim political reality of what is deceptively called “education reform.” Her letter should go viral.
She writes:
“This is the sick process education reform has created in big city districts. They just churn through teachers, especially new ones, as fast as they can with no regard to the person’s life, skill set, or qualifications. The harm they do to the students by destabilizing their neighborhood schools cannot be measured. They don’t care if you are a blazing success in the classroom; your teaching certificate is basically meaningless to the administration.
She goes on to add:
” In the student’s mind, a standard classroom teacher is a disposable throwaway. They see no reason to follow the rules, do their homework, or take the exams seriously. They know the teacher will probably get fired, possibly in the middle of the year. They have no respect for their teacher, and no reason to believe their teacher has any ability to discipline or instruct.
“This is the message inner city students have been receiving for over a decade. This is the message reformers convey to the students, the parents, and the taxpayer.
“At new teacher orientation you are led to believe something much different; at the job fair, and in the media, you are told that working for HISD is wonderful, with a fair evaluation system, great pay, and fabulous bonuses.
“Working at HISD is the biggest mistake I have ever made.
“I was warned about education reform. I was told not to do this, and I didn’t listen.
“Honestly, I didn’t even know what “education reform” meant…I thought it was a bunch of talented people swapping ideas about how to best educate the children of poverty. I thought it would be fun, challenging, and engaging. In my ridiculous mind, I could see a group of teachers sharing ideas, lesson plans, and stories. I really believed I was going to learn something positive about public school. I didn’t know it was a scam engineered to deprofessionalize the teaching business, and hand the jobs off to cash strapped ivy leaguers that couldn’t find positions in their fields of study.
“Now I know that people like Michelle Rhee made millions off the backs of the teachers she fired. I know that most of these people have cheated, including some in my own Apollo program. The Atlanta Journal Constitution even did a nationwide study, and can prove mathematically that these districts have failed to educate these students in spite of their “so-called” reforms. This wrong-to-right erasure math is indisputable…
“As for me, I don’t need a study; I can tell everyone about the chaos, the achievement gap, the poverty, the filth, the lies, and the smokescreen.
“It is funny that Arne Duncan (Obama’s Secretary of Education #erasetothetop) came out here and toured Lee HS with my SIO, and he listened to a few talented students, and the police cracked down on the school before his arrival, and they managed to sign up all of the students to some kind of college (mostly 2 year institutions) and convince Arnie that it is a “turnaround success.” But you only have to look at him closely to see he is a Walmart kind of guy. And now we have the privatization of the public trust…we have the Walton Foundation, The Broad Foundation, The Gates Foundation, and countless other vultures, and venture capitalists, including Pearson (the great testing empire), all throwing money to this “teacher witch hunt” fully engaged in the age-old philosophy of “you gotta spend a buck to make a buck.” So, they are making the bucks off of me and my students, and I am helpless to stop them.”

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy Halloween Ken Derstine PA Education Crisis Highlights

And this is just Philadelphia, scary stuff, I'm spooked

Pennsylvania Education Crisis Highlights - October 29th, 2013
Pennsylvania Education Crisis Highlights is available online at http://www.defendpubliceducation.net/
Blue text is a link to the full article.
 Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools  | Save our Schools NJ
Monday, November 4, 2013, 4 - 5:20 pm 
Princeton High School Auditorium, 151 Moore Street, Princeton NJ 
From 3:30 to 4 pm Dr. Ravitch will sign books which will be available for purchase at the event.
Save Our Schools NJ, Labyrinth Books, and Princeton Public Schools invite you to hear Dr. Diane Ravitch speak about her new book: Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools. Ravitch, a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education, is leading a national battle to save public education. She will put forth a plan for what we can do to protect and improve public schools, including here in NJ. 
Another event will be held a Princeton University at 8:00 pm on November 4th.
Diane Ravitch will be on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Wednesday, October 30th.
The video from Media Mobilizing Project and the Alliance for Public Schools goes national on the Network for Public Education website. It is on the Most Popular Posts list.
The PCAPS study of the 10-year abatement for real estate taxes.
Local coverage of Full Funding Friday Seven 10/25/13
The fallout from the Philadelphia School District's budget crisis continues: As of Monday, 139 teachers had been moved to new schools - seven weeks into the term, and shortly before students' first report card grades are due.
"Leveling" - moving teachers based on schools' enrollment - occurs every year.
But it has been particularly painful this year, with fiscal concerns spurring more changes than usual as schools aim to keep class sizes at or under their maximums, 30 for the lower grades and 33 in higher grades.
According to data released by the district Monday, the 139 teachers shuffled represents a 70 percent increase in transfers. The district also added 29 teachers, down from 42 last year. The number of classrooms split between two grades was reduced to 50 from 100.
The Philadelphia School District has been "leveled."
As a result, the District has reduced the number of its controversial split-grade classrooms, made up of students in different grades, from about 100 to 50.
With leveling, the District aligns staffing projections made in the summer with enrollment realities in the fall.
If more students show up at a school than the District had projected, and fewer students show up at another school, the District shuffles faculty from one to the other in an attempt to keep student-to-teacher ratios within the contracted maximums.
The District's contract with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers stipulates that kindergarten through 3rd-grade teachers should have no more than 30 students, and teachers in grades 4 through 12 should have no more than 33.
This year – in the wake of layoffs and turnover, which have reduced the District's staff by about 3,000 – students, parents and faculty at schools across the District expressed grievances over a host of academic issues, including split-grade classrooms and class sizes that have far exceeded contractual maximums.
"As the district prepares to allocate the $45 million recently released by Governor Corbett to Philadelphia schools, the PFT is calling for the restoration of every school employee that was laid off in June.
"Even before the layoffs, our schools were not operating with sufficient staff to provide instruction, programs and services to our children. Every student needs equal access to teachers, counselors, secretaries, school nurses and non-instructional support personnel. Every dime of that money should go toward making this happen.
"We cannot say we are doing everything we can to provide a quality public education until these positions are restored.
(Read the comments.)
In the midst of its continuing financial crisis, the School District of Philadelphia has lowered the boom on charter schools in the city.
Using new powers unleashed by the School Reform Commission's recent decision to suspend part of the state school code, the district is threatening to begin revocation proceedings against schools that have refused to sign their charters because they include enrollment caps. The district has also warned charters not to seek payment for extra students from the state.
"The SRC . . . has the responsibility to act in a fiscally responsible manner in reviewing and approving charter school enrollment growth," Deputy Superintendent Paul Kihn wrote in Oct. 16 letters to charter officials. "Such growth can be responsibly managed only in accordance with a planning process that gives the SRC and the School District the ability to avoid financial disaster, which is a certainty in the absence of managed enrollment growth.”
It is a curious asset for a nearly broke school system: more than 1,000 paintings and other works of art worth millions, with the priciest pieces hidden away for the last decade in an undisclosed location.
Some have wanted the works sold to help a Philadelphia School District financial situation so dire many schools lack full-time counselors, nurses, and other essentials.
But retired teacher Marilyn Krupnick has made it her business to get the art out of storage and into a venue where students can appreciate it.
"Selling the artwork cannot cure the ills of the Philadelphia School District," Krupnick told the School Reform Commission last week. The replacement value of the work is about $8 million, but the district thought it could get much less - about $600,000 - for a select group of paintings.
But the bottom line is not about dollars and cents, said Arlene Holtz, a former district principal who had supported the quest to get the work out of storage and back in front of students.
"Art matters," Holtz said.
Radnor Township School District School Board Passes Resolution Opposing Keystone Exams as High School Graduation Requirement
Taking a stand against "regulations or legislation that usurp the authority of local school districts to determine whether their students have earned high school diplomas," the Radnor Township School District Board of According to the resolution: “The Keystone Exams graduation requirement will cause an increase in remediation courses which will have economic impact on districts operating under Act 1 fiscal constraints and on taxpayers across the Commonwealth, and these required expenditures have no proof of cost effectiveness and represent an unfunded mandate.” Should the requirement be enacted, it will first affect the Class of 2017. 
The resolution also states that the necessity for remediation courses reduces a student’s ability to select elective courses, which conflicts with the district’s board-approved mission of empowering students to pursue their individual passions with knowledge and confidence to shape the future. 
The resolution calls on other school boards, local legislators and members of the Senate and House Education Committees to petition the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) to amend Chapter 4, which specifies the mandate and has already been advanced by the State Board of Education. The IRRC is set to review the regulation on Thurs., Nov. 21.
New state evaluation standards for students, teachers and schools might have districts scrambling to figure out how to set their budgets next year.
That's the fear Joseph Kovalchik, superintendent of the Northampton Area School District, relayed to the school board Monday during a presentation of the new standards being passed down from the state Department of Education.
With Adequate Yearly Progress measurements being replaced by the School Performance Profile system, students must now take remedial classes if they don't receive a passing grade in assessment testing such as the PSSA and Keystone exams.
That amounts to a need for more teachers and classroom space, Kovalchik said.
Currently the district has a contingency fund of $200,000 to allow wiggle room for any additional staff that may be required. Kovalchik said that amount will probably have to increase when the 2014-15 budget is finalized next year.
"Staff drives your budget," he said.
The changes are intended to rate teachers' effectiveness with respect to planning and preparation, classroom environment, professional responsibilities and instruction. They are also designed to provide parents with performance measurements for the schools within their district, and to compare how their schools are performing in relation to other districts.
The measurements are then used to set goals, plan curriculums and determine how resources are allocated.
The future of Pennsylvania schools — and the quality of education every child receives — is at stake in the latest property tax proposal in Harrisburg.
The plan to swap property taxes for higher state levies will drain billions from Pennsylvania classrooms within a few years. Over time, it increases funding inequities across districts and makes it harder for future graduates to compete in a 21st century job market.
There is a better way. Watch our new whiteboard video to see how we can strengthen our schools, make funding more equitable, and address property tax concerns.
Is your family ready for a tax increase of nearly $900 per year? Are you prepared to see 33,000 public school teachers in Pennsylvania—nearly one out of every three—lose their jobs? Those are the realities facing taxpayers and educators if we don’t get a handle on our public pension costs.
The state's two pension systems—for state government workers (SERS) and public school employees (PSERS)—together have more than $47 billion in debt.
 It's a shortfall that taxpayers must cover. Recent legislation delayed the day of reckoning, giving lawmakers time to find a real solution, but the bill is quickly coming due.
Current projections show that state and school district contributions will increase from $2.5 billion in 2012-13 to $6.2 billion in 2016-17, representing $877 per Pennsylvania household or the salary of 33,000 teachers (based on average statewide salary). We can’t afford to simply sit by and do nothing.
Deep poverty - income of 50 percent of the federal poverty level or below - appears to have grown 19 percent in Camden County and 5 percent in Delaware County between 2011 and 2012, according to data from the U.S. Census' American Community Survey (ACS), released last month.
As an example, families of five making $27,570 a year or less are living in poverty. Same-size families making half that or less are in deep poverty.
Overall, deep poverty appeared to rise 17 percent in South Jersey - the counties of Camden, Gloucester, and Burlington combined, while it fell 3 percent in the Pennsylvania suburbs. In Philadelphia, numbers suggest that deep poverty dipped 6 percent.
Experts on both sides of the river were at a loss to explain such widely divergent data, and they caution that margins of error in the numbers can render the percentages less than precise.
Still, the data are considered the best available, and ACS trends depicting increases in deep poverty dovetail with what those who help the poor see every day.
Just like over in reformy John King's New York, MacCormack is setting up an expectation that scores in Montclair are going to drop like a stone. Why? To justify a radical change in schooling that has no evidence to back it up, nor any support from the community.
What I wouldn't give to be able to see one of these "assessments." Something tells me that if the public in Montclair ever gets a look at the testing regime their kids are being put through, the parents will take up pitchforks and torches.
Selected national links related to corporate education reform and  the fight against it.
Links Are Working on All Three Segments of Melissa Harris-Perry Show on Poverty and Privatization | Diane Ravitch’s blog - All three segments of this important interview about Obama’s education speech on Friday, which were down for three days, are now working.
Obama comes to Brooklyn. Warns students, 'the Chinese, Indians, Russians... are coming.’ | Mike Klonsky’s SmallTalk Blog - More details about Brookly P-Tech were Obama made Friday’s education speech.
Political Cowardice Is Political Courage | @ The Chalk Face - Paul Thomas examines Obama’s Friday speech.
Sarah Darer Littman among renowned authors to call out Obama on failure of corporate education reform laws | Wait What? - A statement from one of the authors who sent a letter to President Obama about the inappropriate use of standardized testing and the failings of the corporate education reform movement.
Steve Perry’s “Big Lie” about Capital Prep Magnet School | Wait What? - Connecticut is considering giving Steve Perry another charter school despite his record.
Steve Perry…People get fired or worse for the illegal things you are doing… | Wait What? - An examination of Steve Perry record even as he attacks teachers and public education.
NEA and AFT Offer Appeasements; Locals Prefer Democratic Response | @ The Chalk Face - Kris Nielsen questions why the leadership of the AFT and NEA are supporting high-stakes testing and the Common Core.
Is This Why AFT Leadership Sold Its Members Up The Common Core River? | @ The Chalk Face - Educationalcemy looks closer at why the AFT leadership may be selling out the rank and file.
Ed Reform Bill: Walton Foundation and NEA are BFF’s? NJ Left Behind - A NJ blog which supports corporate ed reform reports on NEA and AFT leaders support of corporate education reform in Colorado.
The BATS and the Teachers Unions | With A Brooklyn Accent - Mark Naison clarifies the position of BAT when it disagrees with the teachers’ union leadership.
Bullying by Numbers: Value-Added Measures | @ The Chalk Face - Kris Nielsen examines why the focus of corporate education reform has moved from students to the teachers and the schools.
Top state education official criticizes city’s school networks | Gotham Schools - NYC’s network system of schools is even being criticized by supporters of corporate education reform.
The doubts of a school choice supporter | The Answer Sheet - The Washington Post - Author Sam Chaltain, a corporate education supporter, has increasing reservations.
The Charlotte Danielson Who Is Getting Rich on the Misuse of Her Intellectual Property | Schools Matter - A reprint of an article about the fraud that is the Danielson teacher evaluations.

Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for Memphis Apartheid Corporate Charter Schools

Today's story in the Commercial Appeal makes it clear that Shelby County Schools (SCS)  are in a big hurry to close the deal to keep large numbers of County students from going to the municipal boutique districts that sprang into existence when the threat of consolidation made it clear that they, otherwise, would have been in the same school system as all the poor black kids in Memphis.  

Hanging on to large numbers of the poorer County students that, otherwise, would end up in the municipal districts serves SCS in two ways: 1) it helps to cover the $212 million loss ofthe thousands of students to apartheid corporate charter reform schools in Memphis, without acknowledging the loss, and 2) it provides future targets for corporate segregation schools beyond the urban core. With the State's bottom five percent of schools targeted for turnover each year, you only have to be in the lower half of test performers to get charterized within the next ten years.