Saturday, June 27, 2020
As the factual bases for the present disciplinary action, Staff has accused Respondent of sexually abusing Student 1 during two incidents that would have occurred during the spring of 1999. At that time, Student 1 was completing the second of two years that she spent in KIPP Academy’s fifth grade while Respondent was serving as the school’s principal and as a teacher. In the first incident, according to Staff’s pleadings, Respondent “took [Student 1] into his office” at the school, ostensibly to conduct a “yearly check-up,” and then proceeded to reach under her shirt and run his fingers between her breasts and also along her back. The second incident allegedly occurred “[a] week or two later,” when Respondent “took [Student 1] back to his office,” this time under the pretense that he had “lost the file” from the earlier “check-up” and “would have to redo the exam.” Then, according to Staff, “Respondent asked [Student 1] to remove her clothing from the waist down,” “had [Student 1] sit on the desk and spread her legs,” then “approache[d] her with a Q-tip and inserted it into [her] vagina for a few seconds.”
Monday, June 08, 2020
Thursday, May 28, 2020
Friday, May 22, 2020
Wednesday, May 06, 2020
Well, yes, many did intend that outcome, Diane, as has been documented in several books, numerous magazine articles, and ample policy analyses. Congress did know about the NCLB's intended privatization, and to assure that outcome, a majority of legislators 1) approved the requirement that 100 percent of school children would be "proficient" in reading and math by 2014, and 2) included charter school conversion as a central remedy for failing schools.
Thomas J. Kane and Douglas O Staiger, "Volatility in School Test Scores: Implications for Test-Based Accountability Systems." In Diane Ravitch (Ed.), Brookings Papers on Education 2002. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 2002.
The central flaw is that both versions of this bill place far too much emphasis on year-to-year changes in test scores. Under either, every school in America would have to generate an increase in test scores each and every year or face penalties like having to allow its students to transfer to another public school, being converted into a charter school or being taken over by a private contractor.
Both bills would be particularly harsh on racially diverse schools. Each school would be expected to achieve not only an increase in test scores for the school as a whole, but increases for each and every racial or ethnic group as well. Because each group's scores fluctuate depending upon the particular students being tested each year, it is rare to see every group's performance moving upward in the same year. Black and Latino students are more likely than white students to be enrolled in highly diverse schools, so their schools would be more likely than others to be arbitrarily disrupted by a poorly designed formula.
As White House staff, congressional aides, and a small contingent of think tank insiders huddled in Washington during the summer of 2001 to compile the final version of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA), state policymakers worried about new accountability demands that the legislation was to include. In July, Missouri’s assistant commissioner of education, Stephen Barr, had described the 12-year window for achieving 100 percent student proficiency in reading and math as “an impossible dream,” and in the same article from The New York Times, Pennsylvania’s secretary of education, Charles Zogby said, “It’s unrealistic to think that in some places where 90 percent of the children are below basic that we’re going to turn this around in 10 years. And then everybody is going to throw up their hands and say none of this is possible” (para 29).
. . . told the National Association of Federal Education Program Administrators in April 2001: "People are looking at the data and saying, 'This is going to be catastrophic because there are going to be so many low-performing schools and this isn't going to work'." Though Johnson himself urged a more positive response, by June he had submitted his resignation.
. . . . I remember a panel discussion in early 2002 at the Willard Hotel soon after NCLB was signed. You were on the panel. I was in the audience, and I stood up and asked you whether you truly believed that 100% of all children in grades 3-8 would be “proficient” by 2014. You answered, “No, Diane, but we think it is good to have goals.” Well, based on goals that you knew were out of reach, teachers and principals have been fired, and many schools — beloved in their communities — have been closed.In the recycled version that ends up (without citation) in Slaying Goliath, Ravitch writes:
At the time, I attended an event in Washington, D.C., at the Willard Hotel, sponsored by the conservative Hoover Institution, where my former boss in the George H. W. Bush administration, Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, was on a panel discussing the new law. I stood up in the audience and asked whether he truly expected that 'every student' would be proficient by 2014. He responded, 'No, Diane, we don't expect that, but it's good to have goals.' Little did he know that many school would be closed and many teachers and principals would be fired because they could not accomplish what was patently impossible (p. 20).
Friday, April 24, 2020
Part 1 can be found here.
Updated May 3, 2020
Just over ten years ago when Diane Ravitch signaled that she was about to leave the corporate ed reform ship and walk ashore as an apostle of the Resistance, I and many others were hoping to read The Death and Life of the Great American School System as a roadmap to the inner workings of the corrupt education reform establishment. Finally, I thought, if the world was ever to know the full story of the seminal events that had misshaped, corrupted, and, otherwise, damaged public education over the three prior decades, an insider-backslider like Diane Ravitch might be the one who could spill the beans. After all, as an historian, wouldn't she want to set the record straight as part of her redemption plan?
What was the inside scoop, for instance, on the manipulations of NAEP cut scores to make American students appear underprepared and their schools grossly negligent in preparing them? Diane was on the scene when those cut scores were set in stone by Checker Finn, who served as President of NAEP's Governing Board in 1989:
In an article titled "A Test Everyone Will Fail," the late Gerald Bracey (2007/2011) wrote this about the manipulated NAEP cut scores and why nothing has ever been done since 1989 to make them realistic metrics of American student achievement:
. . . these numbers are useful as scare techniques and bludgeons. If you can batter people into believing that the schools are in awful shape, you can make them anxious about their future and you can control them. In the 1980s the schools-suck-bloc used such numbers to make us fearful that Japan, now emerging from a 15-year-long recession-stagnation was going to take away all of our markets; today India and China play the role of economic ogres.Diane served on the National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), from 1997 to 2004. During her tenure, she did nothing to change the cut scores, which the National Academy of Science described in 1993 as "fundamentally flawed."
In fact, at a Hoover Institution press briefing in 2001, Koret Task Force member, Diane Ravitch, bragged:
The National Assessment of Educational Progress has gotten, I think, much stronger. When Checker [Finn] was chairman of the NAGBE Board, the governing board, they created real standards so that now we are able to report periodically to the nation about where American kids are in terms of learning different important subject areas in their school studies.And to this day, Diane has said nothing in any of her three books written since 2010 about this ongoing scandal. The same scandalously high proficiency levels remain scandalously high and "fundamentally flawed," and they are the same unreachable proficiency targets that "reformers" use to hammer schools whenever new NAEP results are published.
And so it quickly became clear even in my initial reading of The Death and Life . . . that Ravitch was much less interested in blowing the whistle than preaching a message of redemption to her former allies. Rather than sharing the facts about the NAEP scandal or the two other prominent scandals that will be the focus of Parts 3 and 4, Diane has offered the education reform establishment homilies, tsk-tsks, and finger wagging.
Meanwhile, the real history American education policy's greatest manipulations remains untold by someone with all the facts to tell it. To this day, Diane regularly presents the education reform establishment as simply misguided and misinformed individuals and organizations with good intentions, rather than as an ideologically and cash-driven movement to monetize and privatize public institutions.
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Monday, April 20, 2020
Here's an example below of a patent request (click it to enlarge) that Microsoft filed this year. I think it offers a pretty clear picture of efforts of a new capitalist model based not on "pay to play" but, rather, "get paid to play." Of course, the crypto-crumbs to be collected by human data-fuel sources will be insignificant in comparison to the real money saved by efficiency-seeking governments dependent upon Silicon Valley's social steering contractors.
Certainly gives the term "social capital" a whole new meaning!
Wednesday, April 15, 2020
Thursday, April 09, 2020
S Krashen. April 9, 2020
Wednesday, April 08, 2020
Betsy DeVos is trying to use the current crises to impose IDEA waivers, robbing students with disabilities of their right to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). Students with disabilities, their families, educators, special education (SPED) advocates, and SPED organizations are encouraged to read and sign.
The organizers are also looking for testimonials and anecdotes from parents.
Also featured here: Save IDEA! Sign This Petition to Betsy DeVos!
Monday, April 06, 2020
Their headline leads the reader to believe that Dr. Mike is talking about everyone returning to the same grade in the Fall:
Schools should consider keeping kids in the same grade this fall
But only some kids:
The routines, indeed. After 6 months away from No Excuses corporate charter schools and the urban public schools that emulate them, the children of the poor will require new rounds of social, emotional, and mental booster shots to further strengthen their immunity against any autonomous thought and action that they might have encountered while away from chain gang schooling.Perhaps middle and high school students can overcome these challenges, given their ability to work and read independently. But most low-income, low-performing elementary students will struggle mightily, almost surely falling even further behind [link is to Kevin Huffman's op-ed that I blogged on March 29: http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2020/03/mutual-parasitism-coronavirus-and.html]. Thousands of Title I schools nationwide, serving upward of 10 million students, are full of kids fitting this description.So when schools reopen in the fall, these students should remain in their current grade and, ideally, return to the familiarity of their current teacher. (Other types of schools — including affluent schools, middle schools and high schools — may also want to consider a similar approach.) The first order of business will be to attend to the social, emotional and mental health needs of their children and to reestablish supportive and comforting routines.
According to the Petrilli plan for next Fall, children who are held back in their current grade levels in the Fall should then be administered a standardized test to determine their levels of deficiency. Those who should have been passed to begin with will then move ahead. (Never mind the logistical nightmares of re-leveling classes after school begins).
And, of course, Dr. Mike has a prescription for instruction in these failed groups next Fall: more homogeneous grouping, more tutoring, and more "personalized" screen time (just in case another pandemic hits, even though these same children won't have any more internet access then than they have now).
The next step would be for teachers to develop plans for each pupil to make progress, aimed at getting them to grade level by June. The plans should involve as much small-group instruction as possible, with kids clustered according to their current reading or math levels, plus some online learning opportunities in case schools are closed again. Those who are furthest behind could get regular one-on-one tutoring from specialists.If Dr. Mike's pedagogical solution sounds remarkably similar to the corporate welfare charter school planning book, you would be right. And even though failure-for-the-poor plan sounds and looks and smells like repeating the same grade, which research shows is counter-productive, Dr. Mike says we should not think of it that way: "This would be different from just 'repeating the grade,' which, research shows, rarely helps students catch up."
Petrilli ends his op-ed by reminding us that we could have avoided all this confusion if schools had already adopted the latest public education demolition plan, "personalized learning:"
It would have been far better if U.S. schools had embraced “personalized learning” long before the crisis hit — whereby kids move at their own pace, rather than in lockstep with their peers.But, but, what would happen to homogeneous grouping!?
Saturday, April 04, 2020
Friday, April 03, 2020
Sunday, March 29, 2020
When Kevin Huffman left Tennessee after four years of running down the State's public schools the way his ex-wife, Michelle Rhee, did prior to being run out of Washington, DC, Tennessee's teachers and superintendents were overjoyed. Under Huffman's toxic reign as Commissioner of Education,
[m]ore than 50 superintendents . . . publicly questioned his leadership, several teachers unions expressed "no confidence" . . .; and . . . a group of 15 Republicans . . . called for his resignation.Many believed that Huffman's poisonous reputation among schoolmen and schoolwomen in Tennessee would guarantee him a leading role in the ongoing efforts by billionaires to monetize and privatize public education. And sure enough, just like the vastly unpopular Chris Barbic, who mismanaged Tennessee's charter school hothouse, the Achievement School District, before he left under a cloud, Huffman landed a leading role as Partner with City Fund.
City Fund is generously supported by the same group of oligarchic high rollers who have been working to destroy public schools for the past twenty years:
. . . the [Reed] Hastings Fund, Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the Dell Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation were funding the effort. The Walton Family Foundation and the Ballmer Group are also funders . . .No doubt Huffman is now hoping for a big shipment of federal coronavirus relief dollars to his portfolio of corporate charter schools. He hints as much in a recent Washington Post op-ed, where he touts Achievement First charter resources as a partial solution to state takeover of Providence, RI schools, just as he celebrates the good work by the Chiefs for Change, who are offering advice to school districts on how to "collaborate" with charter schools during the crisis. Um.
But the real focus of Huffman's op-ed is to remind readers that homeschooling or virtual schooling are dangerously deficient and could do lasting damage. Underneath this veneer of concern for children is the real fear of damage to the real estate empires and corporate welfare agencies that charter schools represent and enable.
In fact, Huffman has some advice for what Congress should do in the next round of relief legislation:
For the next round of stimulus, appropriators could send significant funding to districts and schools with the most low-income students to make up lost instructional time.You know, those communities where City Fund is most intent to spread the charter virus, where resistance is minimal and the opportunity is maximal for running roughshod over parents, children, and teachers.