Thursday, December 20, 2018
Monday, November 26, 2018
The cost to public education would be astronomical. In Bedford, for instance, charter expansion would cost the public schools another $15,000,000 each year that the system cannot afford. Haverhill public schools would have to dish out another $3,000,000 for charter expansion there.
The coziness between DESE and the charter industry can be linked to DESE's partnership with SEII, the charter promotion think tank at MIT.
DESE has provided an email address for public comment on the proposed charter expansions. The deadline for comments is December 3. Please offer DESE and Commissioner Jeff Riley your thoughts. Write: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, October 29, 2018
Saturday, October 27, 2018
And remember, we're talking about worse than life under Arne Duncan! In fact, the positive vibe has dropped from 65% to 43%, which is not too far off from reflecting the approval of Obama (58%) and Trump (42%).
Here's some of the reasons that ED folks are bummed, with links:
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
“Blowing the racist dog whistle in politics is shameful. This disgraceful practice against black candidates unfortunately has a long and shameful history. That this would happen in California in 2018 is deeply disturbing. It appears you have chosen to follow President Trump’s playbook of using lies and fake news to smear prominent leaders of color.” — California Hawaii NAACP letter admonishing Marshall Tuck’s racism
The following is adapted from commentary here
The NAACP’s letter rightfully calls Marshall Tuck and his corporate backers out for their “[b]lowing the racist dog whistle in politics.” For business banker Tuck and the market-share obsessed charter school industry to accuse others of “not serving minorities” is really quite astonishing.
We must bear in mind that this is the same Tuck whose policies, much like those of his contemporary counterparts Tom Horne and John Huppenthal of Arizona, caused irreparable harm to students of color. Tuck closed down popular, research proven, Ethnic Studies programs. For example, Tuck completely eliminated Ethnic Sudies at (PLAS) Santee High School. Tuck also restricted and shuttered well regarded and research proven Heritage Language Programs and Dual Language Immersion programs. These language program closures and restrictions were so egregious, and such a violation of students’ civil rights, that the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Public Counsel Law Center jointly filed a Uniform Complaint Cause of Action against Tuck on their behalf.
It took years of protracted court battles to defeat Horne and Huppenthal’s attacks on students of color. We can stop Tuck from carrying out that same agenda by simply electing Tony Thurmond. Californians have an opportunity to show Tuck and his right-wing backers that there’s no room for bigotry and ethnocentrism in our public institutions.
Monday, October 15, 2018
Privatizing Schools: Question 2
Monday, October 08, 2018
Now if we had prior knowledge of an even more devastating plan to wreak havoc worldwide, this time a plan to kill millions while making large parts the planet uninhabitable, would we be justified in locating and neutralizing those who are planning and enabling such horrendous acts?
The fact is that we do have prior knowledge of such a plan, and it is being directed by both national and international groups to destroy large swaths of life on Earth, while carrying out a well-funded political and media campaign to deny, derail, and to discredit any effort to undermine the flagrant and massive operation of capitalist terrorism. This campaign is being directed by fossil fuel interests in corporate boardrooms and secure corporate/political retreat locations around the globe.
The question remains how to mobilize forces and to effect operations that are required for our children and grandchildren to have lives, and for the planet to remain like Earth rather than Venus.
. . . .The IPCC report makes it clear that the time for talking is over — this is literally a matter of life and death. To give just one example, Yale scientists predict that the difference between a 1.5 degree and 2 degree rise in global temperatures could cut corn yields in parts of Africa by half. . . .
Friday, September 21, 2018
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
Find out why almost 600 university libraries own copies of The Mismeasure of Education:
The Mismeasure of Education
In examining the issues and exercise of power that are sustained in the long-standing policy of standardized testing in schools, this work provides a big picture perspective on assessment practices over time in the U. S.; by examining the rise of value-added assessment in Tennessee, a fine-grained and contemporary case is provided within that larger context. The last half of the book provides a detailed survey of the research based critiques of value-added methodology, while detailing an aggressive marketing campaign to make value-added modeling (VAM) a central component of reform strategies following NCLB. The last chapter and epilogue place the continuation of test-based accountability practices within the context of an emerging pushback against privatization, high stakes testing, and other education reforms.
This book will be useful to a wide audience, including teachers, parents, school leaders, policymakers, researchers, and students of educational history, policy, and politics.
"When the Obama Administration decided to spend the billions it got for schools as part of the stimulus package to launch the Race to the Top program and the NCLB waivers, forcing many states to adopt teacher evaluation based on changes in student test scores, leading experts warned that this “value added” system did not have a reliable scientific basis and would often lead to false conclusions. This sobering and important study of the long experience with this system in Tennessee (where it was invented) shows that it did not work, was unfair, and took attention away from other more fundamental issues." Gary Orfield Distinguished Research Professor, UCLA, Co-Director, Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles, UCLA
"If The Mismeasure of Education offered only its penetrating new look at Conant and Coleman, it would be worth the price. But that’s just the beginning. Horn and Wilburn uncover the obsessive instrumentalist quantification and apocalyptic rhetoric soapboxed by both liberal and conservative political elites. Their autopsy of value-added accountability reveals the pathology of ed reform’s claim about teachers not being good enough for the global economy." Susan Ohanian Educator, Author, Activist
"A well-researched (and frightening) look at examples of shameful pseudoscience in America, the latest manifestation of which is value-added assessment for determining teacher competency... A well-documented and thorough analysis, inescapably leading to the conclusion that student test data cannot be used to determine teacher effectiveness. A must read for policy makers enamored of the idea that value added assessments will do what is claimed for them. They do not!....An excellent and scholarly history of how we got to an educational-testing/industrial complex, now promoting invalid assessment strategies that are transforming education, but not for the better. A scary book that should be thoughtfully read by those who value America’s greatest invention, the public schools." David Berliner Regents' Professor Emeritus, Arizona State University
"The Mismeasure of Education is a magnificent work, an elegantly written, brilliantly argued and erudite exposition on why the “what,” “how” and “why” of effective teaching cannot be adequately demonstrated by sets of algorithms spawned in the ideological laboratories of scientific management at the behest of billionaire investors... This book will serve as a sword of Damocles, hanging over the head of the nation’s educational tribunals and their adsentatores, ingratiators and sycophants in the business community... The Mismeasure of Education will have a profound resonance with those who are fed up with the hijacking of our nation’s education system. This is a book that must be read by everyone interested in the future of our schools. It is a book that advocates real educational justice, for student, teachers, administrators and the public; it is informed by impressive scholarship and compelling argument. It is surely to become a classic work." Peter McLaren Professor, GSEIS, University of California, Los Angeles, Distinguished Fellow in Critical Studies, Chapman University
Monday, September 17, 2018
Hard Words (https://tinyurl.com/ybgv4742) champions systematic intensive phonics, teaching all the rules of phonics is a strict order to all children. Here are objections to their conclusions.
(1) Researchers admit we have not discovered all the rules.
(2) Even among those rules that have been described, some are extremely complex.
(3) Many children learn to read with little or even no phonics instruction.
(4) Studies show that intensive phonics produces strong results only on tests in which children pronounce words out of context. Systematic intensive phonics has little or no impact on tests in which children have to understand what they read.
(6) The best predictor of performance on tests in which children have to understand what they read is real reading, especially self-selected reading.
(7) “Basic phonics” can be helpful: teaching straight-forward rules that children can learn and can actually apply to texts to make them more comprehensible. Our ability to use complex rules is acquired as a result of reading.
(8) I know of no scholars or teachers who support “zero phonics.”
Supporting bibliography is available for free download at sdkrashen.com, section on phonics and phonemic awareness. Many of these points have been presented by Frank Smith and Kenneth Goodman.
Hard Words strongly supports the report of the National Reading Panel. For another point of view, please see papers in the Phi Delta Kappen by Garan, by Krashen, and by Yatvin. I will supply references if requested.