The Weekly Update: More on the Common Core, push back and opting out of high stakes testing, the FTC steps in to protect student privacy, a gag order on teachers and more

Let’s start off with this gem: Annual Kindergarten Show Canceled to Allow Kids to Focus on College A beloved annual kindergarten show at a New York school was canceled this week by administrators in an apparent effort to prepare the five-year-olds for college, probably by teaching them that you can’t trust anyone. Administrators at the Harley Avenue Primary School in Elwood, New York, recently sent out a series of letters alerting parents that the annual song-and-dance show their children had been preparing for wasn’t good enough for their looming college applications. “The reason for eliminating the Kindergarten show is simple. … Continue reading The Weekly Update: More on the Common Core, push back and opting out of high stakes testing, the FTC steps in to protect student privacy, a gag order on teachers and more

The Opt Out Update with a Parent “Get Tough Guide”

Excerpt from the Chicago Teachers Union position paper:  Debunking the Myths of Standardized Testing. Corporate reform groups such as Advance Illinois and Stand for Children claim teachers are the main factor in  student  academic achievement. Recent research shows otherwise: as much  as  90%  of variation in  student  growth  is explained  by factors outside the control of teachers. Children who do not  have  access  to  health  care,  who  are  hungry, who  are exhausted  from  nighttime  symptoms  of asthma,  who  are  fearful  of  violence  in  their communities,  who  do  not  have  books  or  access  to other  informal  learning  at  home,  whose  parents have  limited  education,  whose  families  are  constantly  stressed  by economic  problems,  and who  do  not  go  to  libraries  and  museums  in  their free time are at an academic disadvantage.   These factors are highly related not only to testing outcomes, academic achievement, future education and  socioeconomic  success,  but  also  to  the  racial, ethnic  and  class  origins  of individuals. The inequitable  history  of  American  society,  politics, institutions  … Continue reading The Opt Out Update with a Parent “Get Tough Guide”

The Weekly Update: Chicago, Atlanta and the Twin Cities, all victims of corporate reform and Diane Ravitch shares her thoughts

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

The Weekly Update: Teachers Speak Up

The Weekly Update for the news and views you might have missed. This week has been a slower news week than usual for obvious reasons but the internet is burning up with announcements of new Facebook pages sprouting up started by an array of parents and teachers from around the country standing with their teachers and students and against the privatization of their schools. Just this morning I was invited to like four Facebook pages related to education. They are: Parents: What Colorado School Grades Doesn’t Want You to Know Parents & Educators against the Daniels & Bennett Educational Reform … Continue reading The Weekly Update: Teachers Speak Up

The Weekly Update: Chomsky on Public Education, SWF’s need only apply, a Stand for Children Fail in Chicago and more

The Weekly Update for the news and views you might have missed This week we’ll start with EduShyster and their article Single White Female The achievement gap is the civil rights issue of our time—which is why it may be necessary for us to destroy a large part of the Black middle class in order to achieve our goal of closing said gap. During the Chicago Teachers Union strike I encountered a stunning statistic. Since education reform arrived in Chicago, African Americans have dropped from 45% of the teaching force to just 19%. But how can that be? you must … Continue reading The Weekly Update: Chomsky on Public Education, SWF’s need only apply, a Stand for Children Fail in Chicago and more

Karen Lewis and Randi Weingarten on the Chicago teachers strike

    This article was originally published in the Wall Street Journal. It was written by Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU), and Randi Weingarten, president of the CTU’s national union, the American Federation of Teachers. After more than a decade of top-down dictates, disruptive school closures, disregard of teachers’ and parents’ input, testing that squeezes out teaching, and cuts to the arts, physical education and libraries, educators in Chicago said “enough is enough.” With strong support from parents and many in the community, teachers challenged a flawed vision of education reform that has not helped schoolchildren … Continue reading Karen Lewis and Randi Weingarten on the Chicago teachers strike

EduShyster: Stuff White People Like: Education Reform

Here’s an excerpt. One lesson made abundantly clear by the recent Chicago teachers’ strike was that our nation suffers from a dearth of African-American hedge fund managers and venture capitalists. What can we do about this shameful scourge? I have no idea, but what I do know is that the strike revealed a fascinating split along race and class lines over what white hedge fund managers like to call priming the edu-pump for future profits education reform. The key take away: rich white people who send their kids to private schools were the only group to oppose the teachers’ strike. In … Continue reading EduShyster: Stuff White People Like: Education Reform

The Weekly Update: Edu Bully Kevin Huffman in Tennessee, a few last words about the teachers’ strike in Chicago, cashing in on online learning and the web of ed reform

The Weekly Update for the news and views you might have missed One item of business first. We have to defeat charter school Initiative 1240. In the right column of this page are the organizations and prominent individuals who have stated opposition to the charter school initiative. Please be among them. You can go to the No on 1240 website to get more information on charter schools and the initiative, print out flyers, get a yard sign and to donate to this grassroots, shoe string budget, effort. This will be the fourth time that such an initiative has gone to … Continue reading The Weekly Update: Edu Bully Kevin Huffman in Tennessee, a few last words about the teachers’ strike in Chicago, cashing in on online learning and the web of ed reform

The Weekly Update: The Chicago teachers strike and where it all began

The Weekly Update for the news and views you might have missed. Words can’t begin to express my gratitude for this. I’m a very proud middle school reading teacher in CPS. I strike not by choice as the mayor has stated but on principle. You have clearly articulated why I am on the picket. My students deserve better. We bailed out the banks while allowing public schools to fail. I stand up for public education and demand that we not allow companies to run schools. I stand up for worker’s rights and for the rights of the poor. Thank you. … Continue reading The Weekly Update: The Chicago teachers strike and where it all began

Karen Lewis: Why We’re Striking in Chicago

    This statement was issued on Monday, September 10, 2012 and a reminder of what this strike is all about: Negotiations have been intense but productive, however we have failed to reach an agreement that will prevent a labor strike. This is a difficult decision and one we hoped we could avoid. Throughout these negotiations have I remained hopeful but determined. We must do things differently in this city if we are to provide our students with the education they so rightfully deserve. Talks have been productive in many areas. We have successfully won concessions for nursing mothers and … Continue reading Karen Lewis: Why We’re Striking in Chicago

The effect of education reform and Rahm Emanuel’s policies on Chicago Public Schools

This article is a must read. To follow is an excerpt from: Education Apartheid: The Racism Behind Chicago’s School “Reform” Dyett High School students are not allowed to enter the front door of their school. Instead, the more than 170 students at the Southside high school enter through the back. From there, they must spend their day pushing through other students in the one open hallway, after half of the building was placed off limits. “Just imagine, all these students in one hallway trying to get to where they’re going … everyone’s just trying to get through each other,” says … Continue reading The effect of education reform and Rahm Emanuel’s policies on Chicago Public Schools

Chicago Teachers Strike: News and Interviews

I recently discovered a great news source,  Real News. Jaisal Noor, who is also a reporter for Democracy Now, does some excellent reporting on education issues around the country and understands the political and financial undercurrents for the big push towards the privatization of our public schools. To follow are two reports by Mr. Noor for Real News on the teachers’ strike and then the first episode in a series on where the presidential candidates stand on all things education. Chicago Teachers Strike Enters Fourth Day Labor unions back striking teachers, while Democrats remain silent. Chicago Teachers Strike Rooted in … Continue reading Chicago Teachers Strike: News and Interviews