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

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Ravitch Warms to Tuckerism: Can Randi Be Far Ahead?

I posted the other day on the new (old) Tuckerism that Joe Nocera was promoting (again) in the New York Times.  

Obviously, Tucker's THL (Testing Hysteria Lite) has resonated with the neolibs as a way to stave off the revolution against testing, while preserving its worst features and maintaining the attack on collective bargaining and due process.  

Here is a key Tucker conclusion tucked into his report:

In the most facile and misleading way, Diane Ravitch has posted a select few points of the new old Tuckerism that Tucker and the Hillaryites obviously want Ravitch readers to know.  She clips them directly from Tucker's summary:
Here are his key points:

“The ideas outlined by Marc Tucker in Fixing Our National Accountability System signify a departure from conventional thinking on the issue of accountability. Rather than focus on punishing teachers for the results of a system that others designed, the core components of this report rest on three fundamental principles:

1) Testing: Instead of testing all of our students every year with low-quality tests, students would take high-quality accountability tests, covering a full core curriculum, only three times in their school career. In some off years, tests in math and ELA would be administered only to samples of students by computer and would not carry high stakes for teachers or students.

2) Use of Data: Data from these tests would be used to identify schools that might be in trouble, and to deploy a team of expert educators to assist in resolving the issues with the help of districts and/or states. This data would be available to the general public but it would not include a rank or grade.

3) Policies for Professionals: Enact policies that make it attractive for our nation’s strongest teachers and principals to work in the most at-risk schools – these very same policies would also make teaching an attractive career for some of our best high school graduates and transform teaching into a high status profession.”
Here are a few captures from the report, itself.  I suggest you read the whole thing.  I will be posting on it soon.

Let's begin with what Tucker wants to do with the test scores that will continue to central to his next generation of doing more of the same:

And, finally, the ultimate rationale for another generation of testing, sorting, monocultural thinking, teacher bashing, and central planning by businessmen:
 The saddest part about all this is that it perpetuates the false notion that schools, alone, can solve educational inequality or low national test scores.  Educational inequality is simply a reflection of the deeper inequalities that are getting worse the as we continue we ignore them. 


  1. I’m sure Randi Weingarten will grab hold of Marc Tucker's corporate reform agenda as soon as it is convenient.

    In her usually duplicitous way, on September 3rd Weingarten posted on Huffington Post, “The Wal-Mart-ization of Education: Wal-Mart Wants Classrooms to Run More Like a Business, Teachers Are Fighting Back” http://tinyurl.com/ogwm9fk In the post, she wraps herself in militant rhetoric to give the impression that she is leading the charge against the Walton Family Foundations attack on public education for more than ten years.

    On September 2nd the NPR program Fresh Air had an interview with Dana Goldstein, author of the recently released “Teacher Wars”. http://tinyurl.com/pqurdrm The book seems to have much of value about the history of teaching in America and its being devalued because of a strong current of anti-scientific thought in American culture. Unfortunately, in the course of the interview, when she gets to contemporary controversies in education, it is clear that Ms. Goldstein does not get the corporate attack public education at all.

    In the later part of the interview, Ms. Goldstein talks about interviewing Randi Weingarten. She was surprised that Randi “admitted” that teachers are more “privileged” than other workers because teachers have tenure. When asked if “philanthropies” are in conflict with the unions, Ms. Goldstein says Bill Gates and Randi Weingarten would say they get along better now than in the past.

    So the Walton Family Foundation is just a diversion from her collaboration with the Gates and Broad Foundations. As usual, Randi Weingarten is waving her hand to appear militant while behind the scenes she continues to promote the corporate education reform agenda just as she has in the past. http://tinyurl.com/mbnvu4h

    1. Yes, very sad, but predictable, that Rhonda would be so out of it. Ironic that she is using a term that I was using 8 years ago to talk about CorpEd: http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2006/05/in-god-we-trust-everyone-else-except.html