Seattle Public School Principals receive bribes, uh, bonuses, based on student test scores

Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement between Seattle Public Schools and the Principals’ Association of Seattle Schools for 2013-2016, on page 17, Section B: SPS will offer individual effectiveness awards up to a maximum of $7,500 each year. Five award tiers….will … Continue reading Seattle Public School Principals receive bribes, uh, bonuses, based on student test scores

Brian Jones discusses Real vs. Phony Education Reform

I had the pleasure of hearing Brian Jones speak in Portland a few weekends ago, the day after the MAP boycott began, so things have been a bit crazy but…I want to make sure that everyone has an opportunity to view this wonderful presentation. Then, we’ll get back to the struggle at hand. Education activist Brian Jones discusses Real vs. Phony Education Reform and punctures the myth that privatization (charter schools, high-stakes testing, merit pay) will create racial and economic justice for underserved communities. Jones is an elementary school teacher in New York City, union activist and author, most recently … Continue reading Brian Jones discusses Real vs. Phony Education Reform

The Washington PTA Stacks the Deck Towards Charter Schools

In yesterday’s post I described one of the connections between Stand for Children, charter schools and the Washington State PTA, that being Chad Magendanz. Mr. Magendanz was one of the PTA members to write the proposal for charter schools to be part of the legislative platform that would be lobbied for by him and Ramona Hattendorf who is the Government Relations Coordinator. It has come to my attention that there is another player involved, who is a member of Stand for Children and the League of Education Voters who was also on the committee that wrote the proposal for charter … Continue reading The Washington PTA Stacks the Deck Towards Charter Schools

Arne Duncan/President Obama’s New “Flexibility” Program, the NCLB Waivers

Observations: It’s interesting how President Obama in his speech yesterday referred to  No Child Left Behind (NCLB) as a failed program with no mention of Race to the Top (RTTT) which was the same but worse. Some of us refer to RTTT  as NCLB on steroids and it seems that at this time most people have recognized that RTTT is also a failed policy. It was a policy of forcing school districts to align to a specific set of standards and if the standards were not met, the school was “turned around”, meaning either the school was closed permanently, half … Continue reading Arne Duncan/President Obama’s New “Flexibility” Program, the NCLB Waivers

Whoa! Where did that come from Washington State PTA!? Charter schools?! Part 1

If you are a parent in a Seattle Public School, please forward this to your PTA legislative representative and president. They need to know the facts before voting on this plank in the Washington State PTA platform. The vote will happen in the statewide meeting being held in October. Dora The people in the state of Washington have voted down charter schools three times. This blog and others have provided studies and examples of how the heralded success of privatization of our public schools has remained unproven unless there is a tremendous amount of private funding received by the charter … Continue reading Whoa! Where did that come from Washington State PTA!? Charter schools?! Part 1

The Effect of High Stakes Testing and Michelle Rhee

As stated in this New York Times article posted this morning, the ed reformers’ media star Michelle Rhee has based her “success” as Chancellor of DC schools on increasing test scores dramatically during her reign. Below is an excerpt from that article that says “Not so fast”. Michelle Rhee Eager for Spotlight but Not if it is a Testing Scandal by Michael Winerip Why won’t Michelle Rhee talk to USA Today? Ms. Rhee, the chancellor of the Washington public schools from 2007 to 2010, is the national symbol of the data-driven, take-no-prisoners education reform movement. It’s hard to find a … Continue reading The Effect of High Stakes Testing and Michelle Rhee

New York Has Finally Figured Out That Merit Pay Doesn’t Work

Ha! What was that again? You mean that someone is finally getting the fact that merit pay doesn’t work!? If you scroll down the right-hand column of this page and go to “Merit Pay” you will find several studies that have stated this fact along with bloggers, teachers and other advocates for education for a long time. To follow are some of those links: Another Blow for Merit Pay Diane Ravitch: Should Teacher Evaluation Depend Upon Student Test Scores? Harvard Study Says That Teacher Pay Does Little To Boost Achievement Mathematica Study on Merit Pay Teacher Incentives and Student Achievement: … Continue reading New York Has Finally Figured Out That Merit Pay Doesn’t Work

This is What Happens With High Stakes Testing

Over testing of our students and merit pay, two of the planks in the platform of what has been termed “education reform”. Does it work? If you check out the articles in the right hand column of this website under “High Stakes Testing” and “Merit Pay”, you can decide for yourself. Also read New Regulations Fail Teachers by Jim Horn and Esperanza Donovan-Pendzic. In the meantime, see how it affected the folks in Atlanta as it did under Rhee’s reign while Chancellor of Schools in DC. Check out Cheating Fears Cast Doubt on Rhee’s Legacy in DC Public Schools and … Continue reading This is What Happens With High Stakes Testing

A Letter to Arne Duncan From a Teacher in Kansas-OW!

A teacher in Kansas, David Reber, tells it like it is to Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, no holds barred. Dora Mr. Duncan, I read your Teacher Appreciation Week letter to teachers, and had at first decided not to respond. Upon further thought, I realized I do have a few things to say.  I’ll begin with a small sample of relevant adjectives just to get them out of the way: condescending, arrogant, insulting, misleading, patronizing, egotistic, supercilious, haughty, insolent, peremptory, cavalier, imperious, conceited, contemptuous, pompous, audacious, brazen, insincere, superficial, contrived, garish, hollow, pedantic, shallow, swindling, boorish, predictable, duplicitous, pitchy, obtuse, banal, … Continue reading A Letter to Arne Duncan From a Teacher in Kansas-OW!

Strategies 360/DMA Marketing Caught Red Handed in Tacoma

…and other connections. Our Schools Coalition has not been active since September of 2010 after congratulating themselves on being a part of the bargaining process between the teacher’s union and the superintendent. According to their website: The coalition formed here strongly supports the following changes to the Seattle Public School teacher contract, to be renegotiated beginning April 2010 for agreement by the start of the 2010-2011 school year. We advocate that all reforms outlined below be fully implemented in time for the 2011-2012 school year. Our Schools Coalition proposed changes to the teacher contract*: (This is when they used their … Continue reading Strategies 360/DMA Marketing Caught Red Handed in Tacoma

Legislation Action Alert: Senate Bill 5914

Bill 5914 Same song, second verse. In February, the Gates funded organization the League of Education Voters and yes, the Gates funded PTA, were pushing for the approval of two bills that proposed to determine teacher layoff’s by student performance, test scores, and to permanently fire teachers if there was a school closing. You can read the post Legislative Update and Action that I wrote regarding those two bills. Fortunately, because of a quick response by many after reading that post and the action of others, the bill didn’t make it into hearings. But, as they say about the legislative … Continue reading Legislation Action Alert: Senate Bill 5914