Much is going on in the wide world of education. Every time I’m ready to wrap up this post, something new comes across the wires so let’s get started. First up: Thanks to our state legislators who understand the negative ramifications of tying test scores to teacher evaluations, the bill that would have brought new meaning to the term “high stakes testing” was shot down even after Arne Duncan had a special meeting with our Governor explaining to him the importance of the Federal government determining local education policy. It will behoove all of us to remember the members of our … Continue reading The Weekly Update: No money for Common Core in Seattle, Broad left Seattle in the cover of darkness and has reappeared in Oregon, ACT for Kindergartners, Creationism in schools and the US as an Oligarchy. How much more fun can one have?
Corruption kills. This post is dedicated to Laporshia Massey. From Parents United for Public Education in Philadelphia: Her name is Laporshia Massey and our hearts are breaking Our hearts are breaking over the death of beautiful 12 year old Bryant Elementary student Laporshia Massey, who died following an asthma attack that apparently started at school. We grieve for her entire family and the Bryant community. According to the City Paper, Laporshia became ill during the school day. No nurse was scheduled. Laporshia called a family member, telling her repeatedly, “I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe.” A staff person drove the sixth … Continue reading The Weekly Update: Money, power and corruption; Gates is not so sure his ideas will work…but, oh well; TFA, Inc cashes in again and more
I thought we would start the week with this video featuring Bad Ass Teacher Dudley aka Origin. Stop This Madness! Another part of the madness is the income gap that is increasing daily. Robert Reich breaks it down for us during his interview with Amy Goodman: Inequality for All: Robert Reich Warns Record Income Gap Is Undermining Our Democracy. Part 1: To see all three segments, go to Democracy Now on You Tube. While on the subject of money, check out the new website stockholdersfirst.org. Education: too precious to be managed by teachers! Let stockholdersfirst manage your children’s education! Your … Continue reading The Weekly Update: Inequality for all, the charter school gravy train, Common Core, TFA and the pushback
Everyone is back in school, the privatizers are not letting up but parents, students and teachers are fighting back. Diane Ravitch is coming out with her new book on September 18th, a book that is totally awesome by the way. I will have a review posted on September 17th. We’ve got some great forums and events happening this Fall in Seattle, see the right hand column for information, and I am rested up, revved up and ready to go. First up, It’s the poverty stupid. Diane Ravitch in her new book, Reign of Error, points out very clearly how poverty … Continue reading The Weekly Update: Predatory capitalism, privatization, sequestration and our children, Common Core Standards and opting out
First, a word from Noam Chomsky about our educational system. This was filmed at the Syracuse Peace Council’s 75th Anniversary event on May 11, 2011. And from Henry Giroux: When Schools Become Dead Zones of the Imagination: A Critical Pedagogy Manifesto If the right-wing billionaires and apostles of corporate power have their way, public schools will become “dead zones of the imagination,” reduced to anti-public spaces that wage an assault on critical thinking, civic literacy and historical memory. Since the 1980s, schools have increasingly become testing hubs that de-skill teachers and disempower students. They have also been refigured as punishment … Continue reading The Weekly Update: Charter schools, zero tolerance and minority students, the profiteering and scandals
First piece of news is that I’ve been published. Yes, it’s a teeny tiny chapter in a book with some heavy hitters but still, I have something to brag about now. The book is definitely worth checking out. The title is Left Behind in the Race to the Top: Realities of School Reform. Now onto the news. Michelle Rhee is back in the news since the Atlanta cheating scandal hit the papers recently. Ms. Rhee’s reign in DC continues to haunt her. One of these times, someone besides her best bud the now DC Chancellor Maya Henderson, might take on … Continue reading The Weekly Update: The Parent Trigger- “It’s a scam”, the charter school waiting list scam in Chicago and elsewhere, the Common Core Standards dumped by the RNC and more
Bush, Obama focus on standardized testing leads to ‘opt-out’ parents’ movement A decade into the school accountability movement, pockets of resistance to standardized testing are sprouting up around the country, with parents and students opting out of the high-stakes tests used to evaluate schools and teachers. From Seattle, where 600 high school students refused to take a standardized test in January, to Texas, where 86 percent of school districts say the tests are “strangling our public schools,” anti-testing groups argue that bubble exams have proliferated beyond reason, delivering more angst than benefits. “Over the last couple of years, … Continue reading The Opt Out Update: Protests planned in Chicago and Colorado this week as the Opt Out Movement continues to grow and Louisiana opts out of the Common Core Standards
When will the corporate ed reform madness end? Melissa Harris Perry Slams Lawmakers Who Want to Tie Welfare Benefits to Student Grades Parents who receive TANF benefits would see their payments reduced by 30 percent if their children perform poorly in school. Tennessee lawmakers have proposed an absurd bill that would punish parents who receive welfare benefits if their children perform poorly in school. Republican State Sen. Stacey Campfield and Republican State Rep. Vance Dennis introduced legislation in late March that would reduce payments to parents who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families by 30 percent if their children do … Continue reading The Opt Out Update: Portland students plan to walk out of test, Tennessee lawmakers want to starve children for not doing well on tests, really, student data collection “unnecessary and Orwellian” and the push back gains momentum
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel with the help of Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd Bennett who has connections with the Broad Foundation, Gates and all things corporate, is moving right along with the privatizers’ playbook of closing schools and converting many of those schools into charter schools. Fifty four schools are slated for closing. Last Monday, the students held a protest against the closing of these schools: Students March on City Hall, Call School Closings ‘Racist,’ Dangerous Calling school closings “racist” and saying they could lead to “children dying,” dozens of students held a march Downtown Monday to protest last … Continue reading The Weekly Update: Chicago, Atlanta and the Twin Cities, all victims of corporate reform and Diane Ravitch shares her thoughts
So much news, so little time. First, the good news from edushyster: The Great Deception How to convince the public to abandon the wishy-washy notion of education for all in three easy steps. It is an indisputably true fact that our public schools are *hopelessly* failing beyond any hope of excellence. Yet the public remains strangely attached to the idea that publicly-funded schools have an obligation to educate all kids. Alas, that old-fashioned notion of equity is like the Lindsay Lohan of principles: washed-up and of waning interest. Today’s edu-visionary is all about excellence: the laser-honed vision of a 21st … Continue reading The Weekly Update: The good news the ed reformers don’t want you to hear, following the money of corporate reform, testing, the Common Core Standards and how it all relates
There is so much insanity going on in the wild and whacked world of education these days that I am posting two updates this week and that does not include the opt out update. So let’s get started. First up, a follow-up on the issue of student privacy rights. Seattleites, if you haven’t already, check out The Road Map Project, Race to the Top, Bill Gates, a national data bank, Wireless Gen…and FERPA? to get up to speed on student privacy issues that could affect our students for the rest of their lives. There is a lawsuit in response to the … Continue reading The Weekly Update: The Master Plan for privatizing our schools, student privacy, or a lack thereof, in Seattle Public Schools, Teach for America’s gold plated digs…and more.
This has been a ghastly and heart wrenching week in education around the country but particularly in Philadelphia and Chicago where hundreds of schools are slated for closing. The dream of a charter school in every pot, or rather every community, is coming to past for Eli Broad and his ilk. Just close the public schools and open up charter schools. Mission Accomplished. Squeeze out the funding for public schools, grade schools with an A through F, label schools as failing and voila! You have closed as many public schools as necessary to keep those charter schools afloat. But unfortunately, … Continue reading The Weekly Update: Eli Broad’s how-to guide on closing schools and disaster capitalism up close and personal