Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Choosing Democracy: Rhee strikes again - in California

Choosing Democracy: Rhee strikes again - in California: This morning's Sacramento  Bee has a full page ad directed at the California Senate Education Committee.  It claims to be in favor of...

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Choosing Democracy: Michelle Rhee's group endorses anti-gay legislator...

Choosing Democracy: Michelle Rhee's group endorses anti-gay legislator...: Michelle Rhee's StudentsFirst is putting together quite the record as far as legislators it selects as "reformer of the year.&qu...

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Market based reforms don't work

Market-Oriented Reforms' Rhetoric Trumps Reality
Top-down pressure from federal education policies such as Race to the Top and No Child Left Behind, bolstered by organized advocacy efforts, is making a popular set of market-oriented education “reforms” look more like the new status quo than real reform. Reformers assert that test-based teacher evaluation, increased access to charter schools, and the closure of “failing” and under-enrolled schools will boost at-risk students’ achievement and narrow longstanding race- and income-based achievement gaps. This new report from the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education examines these assertions by comparing the impacts of these reforms in three large urban school districts – Washington, D.C., New York City, and Chicago – with student and school outcomes over the same period in other large, high-poverty urban districts. The report finds that the reforms deliver few benefits, often harm the students they purport to help, and divert attention from a set of other, less visible policies with more promise to weaken the link between poverty and low educational attainment.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Education activists Opt Out

Education activists  Op Out.
Valerie Strauss. 
Education activists opposed to corporate-based school reform are converging on Washington D.C. next week for the second annual United Opt Out National event on the grounds of the U.S. Education Department. Among those who will be speaking at the event are education historian Diane Ravitch, Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis, veteran educator Deborah Meier, and early childhood expert Nancy Carlsson-Paige.
The four-day event — to be attended by teachers, students, parents and others — will start on April 4th and include a march to the White House in an effort to get the attention of President Obama, who has been a big disappointment to people who thought he would push progressive school reform policies. Instead, his Education Department has pushed a corporate-based reform agenda that includes an accountability system based on standardized tests — against the advice of assessment experts — and initiatives that have fueled the privatization of public education and attacks on teachers.
The Opt Out event is part of a growing revolt against standardized test-based school reform. Students have staged protests in different states; school boards across the country have passed resolutions against high-stakes tests;  teachers staged a strike in Chicago and in Seattle refused to administer a standardized test they say is flawed; principals, superintendents, researchers and others have signed petitions urging an end to the abuse of high-stakes testing; a growing number of students are opting out and refusing to take standardized tests.