Ed Reformers now think they are like American Idol #edreform #netDE #sad @DianeRavitch #edreformidol #iDIDNTmakeUPthatLASThashtag

Well, I guess it doesn’t really surprise me, these self indulgent policy wonks and state bureaucrats are just in it for themselves, especially the judges methinks.

This is truly disgusting, narcissistic behavior all done on the backs of children. Glad that DE is not a participant, but surprised Jack Markell isn’t a judge

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Education Reform Idol: The Reformiest State 2011

Education Reform Idol: The Reformiest State 2011

August 11, 2011
8:30am
Thomas B. Fordham Institute, 1016 16th Street NW Floor 7, Washington DC, 20036
Register to attend

Education Reform Idol:
The Reformiest State 2011
Please join us for Education Reform Idol, where leaders from five cutting-edge states will battle for the honor of “Reformiest State 2011.” This Fordham Institute panel will pit Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin against one another in what should prove to be the biggest education policy event this summer. The winner will be determined by a vote of the in-person and online audience.
Contestants
dr_bennett_headsot_2x3.jpg Tony Bennett, Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction
Lehner_photo.jpg Peggy Lehner, Ohio State Senator, 6th District
PL-2010-HeadShot.jpg Patricia Levesque, Executive Director, Foundation for Florida’s Future
Murray-Headshot.jpg Ryan Murray, Policy and Legislative Affairs Director, Office of Governor Scott Walker, Wisconsin
Robin-(smile)---2010.jpg Robin M. Steans, Executive Director, Advance Illinois
Judges
Jeanne-Allen-Headshot.jpg Jeanne Allen, President, Center for Education Reform
colvin.jpg Richard Lee Colvin, Executive Director, Education Sector
Bruno-Manno1.jpg Bruno V. Manno, Senior Advisor, Systematic K-12 Education Reform Focus Area, Walton Family Foundation
Host
20110608_Petrilli_03.jpg Michael J. Petrilli, Executive Vice President, Thomas B. Fordham Institute
Register
or call 202-223-5452
EVENT DETAILS

Thursday, August 11, 2011
8:30 a.m.– 10 a.m.*
Thomas B. Fordham Institute
1016 16th Street NW, 7th Floor
Washington, DC 20036

*Light breakfast provided

This eventwill be webcast. No need to sign up – simply visit our website, www.edexcellence.net, at 8:30 a.m. on August 11 and watch the proceedings live.

No need to register to watch the webcast, just bookmark this page to view the event on August 11, 2011 at 8:30 a.m. We look forward to you joining us. If you have a question for the panelists please email your question to questions@edexcellence.net. You can follow the competition online via twitter #edreformidol

Obama administration reaches out to education activists before march – The Answer Sheet – The Washington Post #netDE

Update: Obama administration reaches out to education activists before march – The Answer Sheet – The Washington Post

 

Update: Obama administration reaches out to education activists before march

Two days before thousands of teachers, parents and education activists are staging a march in Washington to protest the Obama administration’s education reform policies, U.S. officials have invited some leaders of the event to the White House for a discussion.

March leaders say they planned the event to let the administration know that teachers, principals, parents and others are fed up with reform policies that they believe are turning public schools into testing factories and that are unfairly evaluating teachers based on student test scores.

Three of a larger group of protesters who went to the Education Department on Wednesday to create an artistic display in front of the building were invited to meet with Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and they handed him a specially made gift of a baby in a box, to symbolize protesters’ concern that high-stakes standardized testing is “boxing in children.”

Education Department spokesman Justin Hamilton said the discussion was useful.

According to leaders of the Save Our Schools March, the White House has invited several of them to the White House on Friday, just a day before the march takes place. A two-day conference of activists began today at American University.

March leaders have been writing open letters to the administration about their standardized test-driven school reform policies for months, but it is just now, apparently, that officials are interested in talking to them about their protest.

Is this a repeat of the administration’s efforts last summer to blunt criticism by a coalition of civil rights groups who released a framework for education reform that was critical of administration policies? Just before it was released, administration officials met with some of the leaders of the group in the coalition, and afterward some backed off their criticism.

Or is this a legitimate effort to allow administration officials to hear teachers complaints (even though they’ve had many months to invite them to the White House, and even though officials have some other pressing business — like the debt limit crisis — to deal with)?

Duncan frequently has conversations with educators across the country. Earlier this month, he phoned Carol Corbett Burris, principal of high-achieving South Side High School in New York, after she wrote an open letter to him about her concerns about his school reform agenda. (You can read her account of the conversation here.)

Burris will be one of the educators marching Saturday.

 

We are in Washington to Save Our Schools and We Want Answers! – Living in Dialogue – Education Week Teacher #netDE

We are in Washington to Save Our Schools and We Want Answers! – Living in Dialogue – Education Week Teacher

We are in Washington to Save Our Schools and We Want Answers!

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For me, the journey to today’s Save Our Schools March started when I wrote an open letter to President Obama raising serious questions about where we are headed with education reform in America. Those questions have still not been answered.

Yesterday I had a chance to ask Arne Duncan a question, after his “Working Toward ‘Wow'” speech. What I asked him was this:

I worked in high poverty schools in Oakland for 24 years. The turnover rate for our interns is 75% after three years. Your proposal for the reauthorization of ESEA continues to label the bottom 10% of our schools as failures. Under these circumstances, who will choose to teach in these high poverty schools? Doesn’t this contribute to the crisis in our profession?

Duncan.jpg

Though Secretary Duncan responded, I did not get an actual answer to my question, as to who will choose to teach in these schools.

Here are some more questions we must ask.

No Child Left Behind was a huge national experiment based on the so-called Texas Miracle, which turned out to be a hoax.

When current policies are questioned we are told similar stories about schools that supposedly are “beating the odds,” and thus prove what is possible.

The National Academy of Science recently released a report that showed that nearly a decade of test-based reforms have shown no positive effect on real student learning. Study after study shows that paying teachers for test scores does not work – even to raise those scores. Evaluating people based on test scores has not worked. Closing schools and firing people to improve schools has not worked. When will the Department of Education begin basing its policies on sound research rather than exceptional cases, many of which turn out to be poor models in any case?

Over a year ago, Secretary Duncan and President Obama praised the decision by the administration to fire the entire staff of teachers at Central Falls High School. Though there was a subsequent agreement that reversed this decision, morale plummeted, student disrespect for teachers increased and teacher turnover rose. How is this any sort of a strategy for school improvement?

Many of the core elements of Race to the Top and the Blueprint are related to test scores. Department of Ed policy calls for the linking of teacher evaluations and pay to student test scores. The Blueprint calls for tracking of student test scores of teachers according to the place they were prepared. We still have the threat of reconstitution hanging over the bottom tier of schools, attended exclusively by children in poverty. All based on test scores. In March, President Obama described the tests that Sasha and Malia take as “low stakes.” All these changes RAISE the stakes on the tests, for teachers and schools. How does this move us towards the “less pressure-packed environment” the President has advocated?

Yesterday Secretary Duncan suggested that teachers be paid as much as $150,000 a year. Afterwards, some National Board certified teachers from Detroit told me that as a result of the latest crisis, they are about to LOSE $15,000 to $20,000 in pay and benefits. What fiscal planet is Secretary Duncan on? And since he has no capacity to actually impact teacher pay, what difference does it make in the real world when he says our pay should be increased?

How about supporting processes that empower teachers to take leadership? How about real support for teacher action research? How about leveraging collaboration to reduce turnover and build stability? How about building teacher accountability on a foundation of real responsibility and agency, rather than bribes and threats? How about policies that reduce, rather than accelerate, racial and economic segregation?

We have been asking questions like this for more than a year, and the answers we get are maddeningly devoid of insight.

The answers to the challenges facing our schools will not be heard from Secretary Duncan. He has been given many chances to respond, and all we get is nonsense. We want answers and today, we are marching to the White House to demand them.

Note: Blogger Alice Mercer will be providing streaming audio from today’s events around the country, starting at 11 am. Find out more here.

Matt Damon tells Arne Duncan and his zero research based strategy to go to hell today. #netDE @GovernorMarkell

 

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Matt Damon’s clear-headed speech to teachers rally

Here is the speech that actor Matt Damon gave today to thousands of teachers, parents and others who attended the Save Our Schools march on the Ellipse near the White House to protest the Obama administration’s education policies that are centered on standardized tests.

Damon was the last of many speakers, including Diane Ravitch, Linda Darling-Hammond, Deb Meier and Jonathan Kozol. I’ve published posts of theirs before, so here is something different: Damon’s common-sense, straight-to-the-point speech.

I flew overnight from Vancouver to be with you today. I landed in New York a few hours ago and caught a flight down here because I needed to tell you all in person that I think you’re awesome.

I was raised by a teacher. My mother is a professor of early childhood education. And from the time I went to kindergarten through my senior year in high school, I went to public schools. I wouldn’t trade that education and experience for anything.

I had incredible teachers. As I look at my life today, the things I value most about myself — my imagination, my love of acting, my passion for writing, my love of learning, my curiosity — all come from how I was parented and taught.

And none of these qualities that I’ve just mentioned — none of these qualities that I prize so deeply, that have brought me so much joy, that have brought me so much professional success — none of these qualities that make me who I am … can be tested.

I said before that I had incredible teachers. And that’s true. But it’s more than that. My teachers were EMPOWERED to teach me. Their time wasn’t taken up with a bunch of test prep — this silly drill and kill nonsense that any serious person knows doesn’t promote real learning. No, my teachers were free to approach me and every other kid in that classroom like an individual puzzle. They took so much care in figuring out who we were and how to best make the lessons resonate with each of us. They were empowered to unlock our potential. They were allowed to be teachers.

Now don’t get me wrong. I did have a brush with standardized tests at one point. I remember because my mom went to the principal’s office and said, ‘My kid ain’t taking that. It’s stupid, it won’t tell you anything and it’ll just make him nervous.’ That was in the ’70s when you could talk like that.

I shudder to think that these tests are being used today to control where funding goes.

I don’t know where I would be today if my teachers’ job security was based on how I performed on some standardized test. If their very survival as teachers was based on whether I actually fell in love with the process of learning but rather if I could fill in the right bubble on a test. If they had to spend most of their time desperately drilling us and less time encouraging creativity and original ideas; less time knowing who we were, seeing our strengths and helping us realize our talents.

I honestly don’t know where I’d be today if that was the type of education I had. I sure as hell wouldn’t be here. I do know that.

This has been a horrible decade for teachers. I can’t imagine how demoralized you must feel. But I came here today to deliver an important message to you: As I get older, I appreciate more and more the teachers that I had growing up. And I’m not alone. There are millions of people just like me.

So the next time you’re feeling down, or exhausted, or unappreciated, or at the end of your rope; the next time you turn on the TV and see yourself called “overpaid;” the next time you encounter some simple-minded, punitive policy that’s been driven into your life by some corporate reformer who has literally never taught anyone anything. … Please know that there are millions of us behind you. You have an army of regular people standing right behind you, and our appreciation for what you do is so deeply felt. We love you, we thank you and we will always have your back.

The battle cry of Tiger Mother ex-chancellor Rhee – The Answer Sheet – The Washington Post #netDE

The battle cry of Tiger Mother ex-chancellor Rhee – The Answer Sheet – The Washington Post

 

The battle cry of Tiger Mother ex-chancellor Rhee

Will someone please tell former D.C. Schools chancellor Michelle Rhee that she has already told us, over and over again, how much her two daughters “suck” at soccer and that she can stop disparaging their athletic abilities in public?

Rhee, who quit as D.C. schools boss last October and took to the national stage as a proponent of test-based assessment systems, vouchers and charter schools, just gave yet another speech complaining that America has become one big, soft, anti-competitive marshmallow because parents keep telling their kids they are great when they aren’t.

That, you see, is the trouble with public education, according to Rhee.

She gave this speech about a week ago to the education committee of the Southern Legislative Conference in Tennessee, the state where her ex-husband, Kevin Huffman, is currently the education commissioner. (Rhee has said she now plans to spend half of each year in Memphis, so her children can be with their father, and half the year in Sacramento, where her fiance is the mayor.)

Part of her Memphis speech went like this, according to the Commercial Appeal:

 

“My two girls play soccer. They suck at soccer,” said Rhee, whose young daughters, the Commercial Appeal reported, sat “cringing” in the crowd.

“But,” she continued, “you would never guess that if you went into their rooms. There are trophies and medals everywhere. We are so concerned with making children feel good about themselves. But we haven’t put in the time to make them good at anything.”

In an earlier rendition of her Memphis speech, Rhee went on to say that as a result of this kind of parenting, “We’ve managed to build a sense of complacency with our children.”

That may well be true of some parents, but I’m willing to bet that that isn’t much of a problem for a lot of poor kids whose parents work a few jobs and don’t have a lot of time to sing their praises, or for kids who move from place to place every week because their family doesn’t have a permanent home, or for kids who barely see their parents. Being made complacent is hardly the reason that a higher percentage of these kids have trouble succeeding in school than kids who don’t face such problems.

It is undeniably true that many children who are bad at soccer have ribbons and trophies. It could be that their teammates are better than they are, helping their team win games, or that they are in a league that rewards kids simply for playing. Whatever the reason, I would venture to say that that is not the reason for America’s competitiveness issues, economically or educationally.

Rhee’s advice on parenting comes after Yale law professor Amy Chua’s book, “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” became a national bestseller, with its stories of how Chua used tough Chinese traditions of child rearing. In her push to make her kids excel, Chua, for example, gave back her kids’ homemade birthday cards, saying the quality was unacceptable, and forced one of her daughters to do 2,000 math problems a night after she came in second in a math competition.

In January, when Rhee was lamenting her kids’ lousy soccer skills (after doing the same thing in December), she pointed out that she has told them they must “practice hard,” and, she said, “I also communicate to them that all the practice in the world won’t guarantee that they’ll ever be great at soccer. It’s tough to square this, though, with the trophies.”

Funny how Rhee, who is a leading proponent of measuring a public school teacher’s effectiveness based on student standardized test scores, doesn’t blame the soccer coach for how poorly her kids do on the field.

Rhee has turned herself into probably the most prominent national spokesperson for modern school reform, skipping from state to state helping to pass legislation that advances her view of standardized-test-driven accountability. So what she says matters.

I wish she made more sense.

 

The impact of HS Dropouts. #netDE

School Dropout Rates Adds To Fiscal Burden

July 24, 2011

Nearly 1 million kids who start high school every year don’t make it to graduation. At a time when federal and state budgets are tight, dropouts costs taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars in lost revenue, health care, welfare and incarceration costs.

Series Overview: The Cost Of Dropping Out

July 24, 2011

Of all the problems this country faces in education, one of the most complicated, heart-wrenching and urgent is the dropout crisis. Nearly 1 million teenagers stop going to school every year.

The impact of that decision is lifelong. And the statistics are stark:

  • The unemployment rate for people without a high school diploma is nearly twice that of the general population.
  • Over a lifetime, a high school dropout will earn $200,000 less than a high school graduate and almost $1 million less than a college graduate.
  • Dropouts are more likely to commit crimes, abuse drugs and alcohol, become teenage parents, live in poverty and commit suicide.
  • Dropouts cost federal and state governments hundreds of billions of dollars in lost earnings, welfare and medical costs, and billions more for dropouts who end up in prison.

NPR is looking at the dropout crisis through the stories of five people. Three dropped out of school years ago. They talk about why they left school, the forces in their lives that contributed to that decision and its impact in the years since.

There are also profiles of two teenagers who are at risk of dropping out and the adults who are working hard to keep them in school.

Monday, July 25

Almost half a million black teenagers drop out of school each year. Most will end up unemployed by their mid-30s. Six out of 10 black male dropouts will spend time in prison.

Patrick Lundvick, 19, quit school in ninth grade. He started running with a gang and selling drugs in his Chicago neighborhood. Within a few years, he was in prison for theft. When he got out, he promised his mother he would change. He’s now studying at a special charter school for dropouts and hopes to get his diploma and go to college. But he knows that having a criminal record has damaged his job prospects, and he admits that the lure of the streets is still strong.

Tuesday, July 26

The single biggest reason why girls drop out of school is pregnancy. And Latinas have the highest teen pregnancy rates of any racial or ethnic group; 41 percent of Latinas leave high school because they get pregnant. These young women often end up with few job skills, more pregnancies and dependency on unreliable and sometimes violent men.

Lauren Ortega, 20, is a mother of two who is struggling to finish her high school education. She is torn over whether to stay with the father of her children.

Tuesday, July 26

A fifth of the schools identified by the U.S. Department of Education as “dropout factories” (where no more than 50 percent of students graduate) are located in rural areas like Oconee County in South Carolina.

Nick Dunn, 16, hates school and is teetering on the edge of dropping out — just like his father and his four siblings did. But things have changed a lot since his father was young. Oconee County has watched its economy dry up and even adults are struggling to find work.

Wednesday July 27

Studies show that kids who miss a lot of school are at far higher risk of dropping out.

By the time he was 12, Danny Lamont Jones had already missed all of sixth grade and much of seventh. Now at 15, Danny is due to enter tenth grade next fall but isn’t sure he’ll go.

Officials in Baltimore are trying to intervene early with kids like Danny to try to keep them engaged with school and prevent them from ending up on an inevitable path toward dropping out.

Thursday, July 28

Sixty percent of the nation’s high school dropouts are older than 40. Most of them left high school to start working, but few move beyond low paying, dead-end jobs. Only seven percent of dropouts 25 and older have ever made more than $40,000 a year. And in hard economic times, many find that not having a diploma puts them at the end of the employment line.

Kenny Buchanan, 44, was 18 when he gave up on high school. He figured he could earn a living without a diploma, and for several years, he did. But then he got married and found it difficult to find work that could support a family. Before long, employers began refusing to even interview him because he didn’t have a diploma.

Why ‘no excuses’ makes no sense: Revisiting the Coleman report – The Answer Sheet – The Washington Post #netDE

Why ‘no excuses’ makes no sense: Revisiting the Coleman report – The Answer Sheet – The Washington Post

 

Why ‘no excuses’ makes no sense: Revisiting the Coleman report

This was written by Gary Ravani, who taught middle school for more than 30 years in Petaluma. He served for 19 years as president of the Petaluma Federation of Teachers, is currently president of the California Federation of Teachers’ Early Childhood/K-12 Council. Ravani, in this post, reveals why the “no-excuses” school reform movement, which chooses to ignore the consequences of poverty on student achievement, is unfair.

 

By Gary Ravani

Perhaps the single best-known piece of social science research ever done in this country is the study produced by sociologist James Coleman in 1966 under the authority of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, commonly called “the Coleman Report.” Coleman’s work is the second largest social science research project in history, covering 600,000 children in 4,000 schools nationally.

Coleman concluded that school-based poverty concentrations were negatively impacting school achievement for the minority poor. His proposed solutions were the impetus for the school desegregation movement and specifically busing.

Coleman found poverty and minority status to be more predictive of student achievement than just differences in school funding, a finding frequently distorted to suggest that “research shows school funding doesn’t matter in achievement.” Coleman never said that.

What he said was that parental economic status and segregated schools were the most important factors. Results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP, an assessment given to nationally representative groups of students and sometimes called “the nation’s report card,” show that states with the highest education spending (and highest percentages of unionized teachers) are the highest performers.

The impact of family economic well being on school achievement continues to be studied. The Educational Testing Service (ETS), California’s state testing vendor, has conducted two such studies: “Parsing the Achievement Gap ” (2003) and “ The Family – America’s Smallest School ” (2007).

In “Parsing,” the authors are careful to assert, “We know skin color has no bearing on the ability to achieve,” and “it is clear that educational achievement is associated with home, school, and societal factors, almost all having their roots in socioeconomic factors affecting this country.”

This report identifies 14 correlates of elementary and secondary school achievement, six of which are related to school: curriculum, teacher preparation, teacher experience, class size, technology, and school safety. The remaining eight correlates are categorized as “Before and Beyond School:” parent participation, student mobility, birth-weight, lead poisoning, hunger and nutrition, reading in the home, television watching, and parent availability.

Note that at least three of the six school-related correlates are actually resource-related and, with the other eight correlates, are beyond the control of the school and teachers.

The other ETS study, “ The Family – America’s Smallest School ,” goes over much of the same territory as “Parsing,” noting the negative impacts on school achievement of single-parent homes, poverty in the minority communities, food insecurity, parent unemployment, child care disparities, substantial differences in children’s measured abilities as they start kindergarten, frequency of student absences, and lack of educational resources and support in the home.

The study concludes that these factors “account for about two-thirds of the large differences … in NAEP eighth-grade reading scores.”

Expectancy issues can also be found elsewhere, for example, in Life and Death from Unnatural Causes, ” by the Alameda County, Ca. Public Health Department.

In a resounding echo of Coleman’s conclusions about poor students and low achievement, the Alameda study states, “A main way that place is linked to health is through geographic concentration of poverty.”

In “Life and Death,” the factors of family wealth, environmental issues (exposure to lead), lack of access to health care — in so many words the conditions of poverty — result in a “life expectancy gap.” Children, overwhelmingly minority children, born in the flats of Oakland “can expect to die almost 15 years earlier than a white person born in the Oakland Hills.” The same results have been indicated by the Census lifespan data. A recent study on AIDS find concentrations of the disease in geographic concentrations of the poor in the southern states.

It appears that the medical experts doing the research for this study didn’t realize that using the conditions of poverty found in economically segregated communities to explain different life span outcomes is really all a matter of “making excuses.” They should have known that dying early results from the “soft bigotry of low expectations.”

There are those who will argue that there is no established causal relationship between conditions that contribute to poor life expectancy rates and the conditions that contribute to low school achievement; that conditions that can grind 15 years off a child’s life span don’t also grind off abilities to succeed in school. Such arguments are the “hard bigotry” of ideology.

There are those who will suggest that the richest nation on Earth doesn’t have the ability to correct in large part the conditions of concentrated poverty that ETS identifies as contributing to low achievement and that the Alameda study identifies as contributing to abbreviated lives. That, indeed, is an example of low expectations — of the variety that can be found when people fail to prioritize education.

 

Rahm’s temper temper #netDE #chicagopolitics #school

In dealing with the press, Mayor Rahm Emanuel often tries to emulate his former boss, President Barack Obama. But Emanuel can’t match Obama’s calm demeanor.

In fact Emanuel’s temper can get the best of him. I found out yesterday when I asked him a question about where his children would go to school, and he let his famous temper emerge.

For some background, I had the chance to ask Barack Obama a similar question in 2008, just after he had won election and was transitioning to the White House.

Since the

Rahm’s temper temper #netDE #chicagopolitics #school

In dealing with the press, Mayor Rahm Emanuel often tries to emulate his former boss, President Barack Obama. But Emanuel can’t match Obama’s calm demeanor.In fact Emanuel’s temper can get the best of him. I found out yesterday when I asked him a question about where his children would go to school, and he let his famous temper emerge.For some background, I had the chance to ask Barack Obama a similar question in 2008, just after he had won election and was transitioning to the White House.Since the president had sent his own children – Malia and Sasha — to private schools in Chicago we wondered how he might relate to the nation’s public education struggles.He replied in his typical calm and collected manner that his choice of school was a family decision. Fair enough.Fast forward to July 2011 when I asked a similar question of Chicago’s new Mayor Rahm Emanuel.During a sit down, one-on-one interview, I asked where Emanuel’s three children will attend school upon their return to Chicago. The interview was supposed to focus on a new Emanuel initiative – the creation of an Office for New Americans – but I crammed in questions on labor, Mayor Daley’s union negotiations, and more. But when his press secretary Tarrah Cooper said time was up just 10 minutes into what was scheduled as a 20 minute interview, I tossed him the school question.Similar to his former boss, Emanuel said it’s a private decision.While I appreciate the desire for privacy, I tried to explain that the Mayor’s family is now in the public eye as Chicago’s First Family, and that the public would want to know whether Emanuel is confident enough in the public school system to send his own children there. But Emanuel broke in.“Mary Ann, let me break the news to you. My children are not in a public position,” he said, curtly. “I am. You’re asking me a value statement and not a policy. … No, no, you have to appreciate this. My children are not an instrument of me being mayor. My children are my children, and that may be news to you, and that may be new to you, Mary Ann, but you have to understand that I’m making this decision as a father.”The mayor stood up to leave. “I look forward to our future interview,” he said before unclipping his lanyard microphone and dropping it to the floor, and walking out of his office. I asked my camera man to stop rolling.As I tried to explain further, Emanuel doubled back. He looked directly at my two college interns, and said, “You are my witnesses.”Then, the Mayor of Chicago positioned himself inches from my face and pointed his finger directly at my head. He raised his voice and admonished me. How dare I ask where his children would go to school!”You’ve done this before,” he said.This was the Emanuel we had heard about, and it was one of the oddest moments in my 29 years of reporting.My two interns followed out of City Hall and back to the station.Several hours later I called the mayor directly since I happened on his cell number and saved it. I thought it might be best to clear the air. But no air was cleared.“My children are private and you will not do this,” he said into the receiver. He said other children of public figures – Chelsea Clinton and the Obama girls – have been kept out of the public eye, despite media attention on the admission to the Sidwell Friends Academy in Washington D.C. I tried to explain he had a point, but their parents too had to answer the question of what school they would attend. No one is trying to have lunch with the first children.I also let him know that I felt wronged and bullied during his earlier tirade.“You are wrong and a bully,” Emanuel fired back. “I care deeply for my family. I don’t care about you.”With that, he hung up the phone.Not quite the same as his former boss, Barack Obama. But then again, this isn’t the White House.

All the bills signed by Governor Markell since July 1, 2011…..no HB 205 in there…..how could that be if it is SO important? #hypocrisy @governormarkell

From    Subject    Received    Size    Categories   
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 122 (Carson)    7/1/2011    8 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 121 (Ennis)    7/1/2011    5 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 91 (DeLuca)    7/1/2011    7 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 127 (Longhurst)    7/1/2011    9 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 128 (Schwartzkopf)    7/1/2011    7 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 129 (Gilligan)    7/1/2011    9 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 130 (Venables)    7/1/2011    7 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 195 (D.P. Williams)    7/1/2011    6 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 190 (D.P. Williams)    7/1/2011    5 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HJR 5 (D.P. Williams)    7/1/2011    4 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HJR 8 (D.P. Williams)    7/1/2011    4 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 144 (B. Short)    7/5/2011    7 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 116 (Blevins)    7/5/2011    5 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 133 (George)    7/5/2011    6 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 157 (Bennett)    7/5/2011    8 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 47 (McBride)    7/5/2011    4 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 132 (Keeley)    7/5/2011    6 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 125 (McDowell)    7/5/2011    6 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 13 (Henry)    7/5/2011    7 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 99 (Mitchell)    7/5/2011    6 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HJR 3 (Scott)    7/5/2011    6 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 122 (Bunting)    7/5/2011    7 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 63 (Peterson)    7/5/2011    6 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 55 (Blevins)    7/5/2011    5 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 68 (Bunting)    7/5/2011    5 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 38 (Mitchell)    7/5/2011    5 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 76 (Blevins)    7/7/2011    7 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 77 (Blevins)    7/7/2011    6 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 163 (Heffernan)    7/7/2011    8 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 95 (Blevins)    7/7/2011    7 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 74 (Blevins)    7/7/2011    7 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 124 (DeLuca)    7/7/2011    9 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 142 (Longhurst)    7/7/2011    6 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 126 (Hall-Long)    7/5/2011    8 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 165 (Keeley)    7/8/2011    7 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 131 (Bunting)    7/8/2011    7 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 133 (Bunting)    7/8/2011    7 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 92 (Hudson)    7/8/2011    6 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HS 1 for HB 210 (Schwartzkopf)    7/8/2011    5 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 113 (Bushweller)    7/8/2011    7 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 136 (Sorenson)    7/8/2011    7 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 127 (Bunting)    7/8/2011    6 KB      
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Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 62 (Longhurst)    Wed 7/13    6 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 25 (Marshall)    Wed 7/13    7 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 48 (Longhurst)    Wed 7/13    8 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 46 (D.P. Williams)    Wed 7/13    7 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 114 (George)    Wed 7/13    7 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 138 (Venables)    Wed 7/13    6 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 101 (Bunting)    Wed 7/13    7 KB       
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Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SS 1 FOR SB 29 (Henry)    Wed 7/13    8 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 186 (Q. Johnson)    Wed 7/13    7 KB       
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Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 115 (B. Short)    Wed 7/13    7 KB       
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Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 102 (Henry)    Wed 7/13    7 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 83 (DeLuca)    Wed 7/13    8 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 81 (DeLuca)    Wed 7/13    7 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 114 (Hall-Long)    Wed 7/13    6 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 151 (Hudson)    Wed 7/13    8 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    HB 155 (Walker)    Wed 7/13    7 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 10 (Bushweller)    Wed 7/13    6 KB       
Delaware Legislature – Signed Legislation    SB 43 (Simpson)    Wed 7/13    7 KB       

 

Kozol: ‘I’m sick of begging’ Congress to do the right thing – The Answer Sheet – The Washington Post #netDE

 

 

Kozol: ‘I’m sick of begging’ Congress to do the right thing – The Answer Sheet – The Washington Post

 

Kozol: ‘I’m sick of begging’ Congress to do the right thing

This is an interview that veteran teacher Anthony Cody did with Jonathan Kozol and posted on his Education Week Teacher blog, Living in Dialogue. Kozol     is a famed advocate for civil rights in education. His 1991 book, “Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools,” detailed the vast differences between public schools for children living in poverty and kids who aren’t.     Kozol will be among the speakers at the Save Our Schools March and Rally in Washington, D.C. on Saturday, July 30th. Cody asked him to explain his reasons for marching and here’s the interview:

 

 

Q) You published Savage Inequalities back in 1992. What has happened to the level of inequity in our schools in the two decades since then?

A) The inequalities are greater now than in ’92. Some states have equalized per-pupil spending but they set the “equal level” very low, so that wealthy districts simply raise extra money privately. And, even within a single urban district, parents in rich neighborhoods cluster together at a single school, then hold fund-raisers for that school, using celebrities to pull out a wealthy crowd, and raise as much as half-a-million dollars in a single night. No one forces them to share this money with the schools for poor kids that might be just three blocks away. The system is more savage now than ever.

 

Q) Our se cretary of education, Arne Duncan, is fond of saying that “Education is the civil rights issue of our time.” Is he right about that?

A) Arne Duncan is recycling exactly the same slogan George W. Bush invented. On its face, it sounds benign. But, in reality, Duncan’s policies run directly counter to the purposes of civil rights. He doesn’t lift a finger to address the glaring fact that public schools for black and Latino kids from coast to coast are now more wildly and shamefully segregated than in any year since 1968. I walk into high schools, with as many as 3,000 students, from Chicago to Los Angeles, from Dallas to Miami, from Denver to New York, and in an entire day I might see ten white students. It’s like the bull in the China shop. Duncan pretends it isn’t there. But, by his passivity, he’s hammering the final nails into the coffin of Brown vs. Board of Education. Meanwhile, he’s eagerly doing “Plessy v. Ferguson,” pretending he knows how to make separate and unequal schools into bastions of success by relentless testing and humiliation of the teachers. 

Separate and unequal didn’t work 100 years ago. It will not work today. And anyone like Duncan who attempts to tell us otherwise is guilty of historical myopia.

 

Q) How do you see the rise of charter schools affecting racial and economic segregation in our schools?

A) Charter schools are far more segregated than most other public schools. This was pretty much predictable. Charter schools with names like those I see repeatedly — “Black Success Academy,” “African-American Academy for Leadership and Enterprise” — are not likely to attract too many Irish or Italian kids. On the opposite side, trendy new white charter schools with upper-class, vaguely artsy innuendo in their names — I call them “the woodsy Walden schools” — are obviously targeted at children of a social/racial category that does not include the kids of immigrants from Mexico or Ethiopia.

The “niche” effect of charter schools guarantees a swift and vicious deepening of class and racial separation. President Obama — who was educated in very good and integrated schools and sends his children to an integrated and exclusive private school — is now acting on the belief that consciously and unashamedly segregated charter schools represent the answer to the race-gap in America.

The president wouldn’t send his own kids to these kinds of schools. Why does he think they’re good enough for black and Latino kids whose parents did not go to Harvard Law School?

A related point: The testing agenda that Duncan is perpetuating is segregative and divisive in yet another sense. In inner-city schools, where principals are working with a sword of threats and punishments above their heads — for fear that they’ll be fired if they cannot “pump the scores” — they inevitably strip down the curriculum to those specific items that are going to be tested, often devoting two-thirds of the year to prepping children for exams. There’s no time for arts or music or even for authentic children’s books like the joyful works that rich kids still enjoy. No time for Pooh and Eeyore and The Hungry Caterpillar. “What help would lovely books like these be on their standardized exams?” Instead, the kids get pit-pat readers keyed to the next miserable tests that they’ll be taking.

So culture is starved. Aesthetics are gone. Joy in learning is regarded as a bothersome distraction. “These kids don’t have time for joy, or whim, or charm, or inquiry! Leave whim and happiness to the children of the privileged. Poor kids can’t afford that luxury.” Even good and idealistic inner-city principals tell me that they feel they have no choice.

So NCLB, in itself, adds a whole new level of division on the basis of a child’s economic class or race. An apartheid of the intellect. One class enjoys the treasures of the earth and also learns to ask demanding and irreverent and insightful questions. The other class is trained to spit up predigested answers.

It’s not surprising that so many corporations are driving this agenda. It helps to guard their interests. Their tacitly admitted goal is to see the inner-city schools produce the kind of narrowly skilled but basically conformist grown-ups who have few critical abilities and will fill their bottom-level job-slots. Meanwhile, the children of the C.E.O.s get to frame the questions that will shape the future.

Q) Why have you decided to participate in the Save Our Schools March on July 30th?

A) I’ll be in Washington for S.O.S. because I’m sick of begging members of the Senate, even those among them who have been my friends for years, to move two inches in the right direction. I’m tired of complaining. And I’m too old to bite my tongue and mute my words out of politeness and respectfulness for politicians who tell me in private that they share my views about the practices and policies that demean our teachers and threaten the survival of our public schools, but then refuse to stand up and denounce these policies in public.

I think, like many of my oldest friends and youngest allies who will be at S.O.S., it’s time for us to get up off our knees in front of this enormous juggernaut and stop bargaining for crumbs. I’ve begun to see a movement of resistance growing now for several years. I’ve seen courageous teachers speaking up and reaching out to others. And I’ve seen the tide of activism start to rise, and surge, among our students and the parents of those students.

I think a moment of critical energy has suddenly emerged. But moments like this come and go unless we seize them at their height.

 

Q) What do you hope will come out of the march and conference?

A) Energy! A willingness, in myself and others of my generation, to listen to the younger teacher-activists who’ve been out in there in the trenches for a while now — the gutsy teachers from L.A. and Brooklyn, and El Paso and Detroit, to give a few examples. I’d also like to see us shaping new, inventive strategies and broader coalitions. I’d like to see the stirrings of a dynamic movement like the one that changed my life in 1965 when I walked out of my classroom in the last week of the year to join my students and their angry parents in a protest struggle that led us to the streets (and, in my own case, into jail) — a tiny portion of the fight for civil rights that shook this nation to its core.

Do I think we need that kind of struggle once again? In honesty, I do. And I hope that I will live long enough to be a part of it.

 

Q) What is one thing you would do to improve education for all students?

Teachers always ask me that. But I learned in 1968, when I first met Paulo Freire, literally on a mountainside in Mexico, not to think I always know the answer. What I tend to do these days is to urge these teachers to look to older and more seasoned teachers like my good friends at Rethinking Schools. “Ask Stan Karp. Ask Bob Peterson. They know more that I do. They’re still in the classroom.”

Anyway, they’ll all be there at S.O.S. And Debbie Meier. And Linda and Diane. And Matt Damon, a morally relentless man whom I tremendously admire. And so many young folks who will carry on this struggle as long as it takes to save our schools and spare us from the mania of testing. This will be a gathering like no other we have seen in many, many years. I hope a tidal wave of advocates and teachers join us.

 

Living in embargo-land…. #DOE #DCAS #embargo #SBOE #4thEstate

DCAS results are in the hands of administrators and more notably the press (ostensibly so they can write stories and get to deadline in tandem with the release)….but school boards are shut out.

Here’s an e-mail thread from LAST YEAR on the same subject. No matter the logic coming from the DOE, to share these data with school chiefs, that serve as employees under local school board contracts, is an outright slap in the face to the publicly elected officials charged with running the schools. Dr. Lowery should demonstrate true leadership and include school board members  in the list of “privileged” individuals. And to think…the DOE later wants to criticize local decisions after they behave in a manner proving they demonstrably and capriciously control information flow…….

—–Original Message—–
From:   YOUNG JOHN
Sent:   Friday, May 28, 2010 07:32 PM Eastern Standard Time
To:     Lowery Lillian
Subject:        FW: DSTP Scores/Results
Dr. Lowery,
I am dismayed by your unwillingness to share data with local elected officials. As stewards of our districts and the responsible oversight function, how can we possibly formulate good decisions when our partners (LEA and DOE) are so obstinate. Failure to provide this data is not only unfair to the students affected by the decisions made in its absence, it is unfair to the public trust in education in Delaware. Clearly, the DOE does not trust school boards. If the data needs to come with a rubric, disclaimer, or confidentiality statement that is more than understandable. However, the idea that it cannot be shared is as reprehensible as it is irresponsible. The mistrust that is promulgated and propagated by actions like these undermine Race to the Top and its considerably dwindling support. It would not surprise me to see public displays of official disgust at RTTT in the near future, and actions like withholding key decision data will not rally supporters in my opinion.
I would like you to respectfully reconsider your decision to actively withhold the aggregated DSTP data that has been released to our schools. I ask this as an elected public official.
Thank You,
John M. Young
Christina School Board
Ph. 219.308.5338
To Achieve Excellence, Inspect what you Expect
________________________________________
From: LYLES MARCIA V.
Sent: Friday, May 28, 2010 2:06 PM
To: CSD SchoolBoard
Subject: FW: DSTP Scores/Results
Dear Board Members,
I want to be responsive to your requests but because it was emphasized to the superintendents that this information was embargoed by the DOE I forwarded your request and below is Dr. Lowery’s response.
Principals are also told that the information is embargoed and that they should not share aggregate data.
I certainly welcome the opportunity to discuss the general outcomes.  I had thought our next Executive Session would be an appropriate forum.
Marcia V. Lyles, Ed.D.
Superintendent
Christina School District
600 N. Lombard Street
Wilmington, DE 19801
302-552-2630
Expect Excellence
Everyday, for Every Child, in Every Class
—–Original Message—–
From: Lowery Lillian
Sent: Friday, May 28, 2010 1:49 PM
To: LYLES MARCIA V.
Subject: RE: DSTP Scores/Results
Dr. Lyles please notify your constituents/board members that you cannot share the data until the embargo is lifted.
Lillian M. Lowery, Ed. D.
Secretary of Education
Delaware Department of Education
o 302 735 4000

Why do we keep talking about and providing money for ill begotten and disproven strategies for success: #netDE #DDOE @GovernorMarkell @rodelDE

Student performance? Why would we use that metric…….LOL.

Merit-Based Teacher Bonuses Have Little Effect On Student Performance, New York Ends Incentives Program

 

Teachers who receive cash incentives don’t prove to have more positive attitudes toward their work, nor do they yield better performing students, according to a study released today.

The report by nonprofit research group RAND Corporation studied almost 200 high-needs New York City public schools between 2007 and 2010. During this three-year period, the city distributed $56 million in performance bonuses to school teachers and staff, The New York Times reports.

Consequently, the New York City Department of Education announced Sunday that the program will be discontinued until a more effective compensation model is determined that “differentiate among the performance of our teachers,” Education Department spokeswoman Barbara Morgan told The Times.

This change is in line with the National Education Association’s view on performance pay for teachers, made public at its annual conference early this month. The NEA’s stance “believes that the single salary schedule is the most transparent and equitable system for compensating education employees.” The comparatively more neutral phrasing is a shift from an original overt opposition to merit pay.

The RAND study found that the performance bonus program had no effect on how schools performed on annual school progress reports (graded A-F), nor did it have an effect on how students performed. There were also no observed differences among teachers’ practices and attitudes between schools that participated in the bonus program and schools that did not.

“Bonuses alone have not proven to be the answer to bettering student achievement,” study author Julie Marsh said in a statement Monday. “Educators said bonuses are desirable, but they also said they did not change how they perform their job because of bonuses. Some didn’t understand how the program worked, while others did not perceive the bonus as having tremendous value. Still others felt the bonus criteria relied too heavily on test scores. We believe these factors may have actually weakened the motivational effects of the bonus program.”

The city’s Education Department blame the program’s inefficacy on its practice of awarding bonuses to schools as a whole, allowing the individual institutions to divide incentives among teachers as they see fit, the New York Daily News reports.

S

 

The study is the most comprehensive on New York City’s educator compensation, but isn’t the first of its kind. A similar study by the National Center on Performance Incentives at Vanderbilt University also showed that a performance-based bonus program had no effect on student achievement among Nashville schools.

Another study by the National Bureau of Economic Research in March based on a randomized survey of the 200 New York City schools yielded similar results. Researcher Roland G. Fryer writes:

“I find no evidence that teacher incentives increase student performance, attendance, or graduation, nor do I find any evidence that the incentives change student or teacher behavior. If anything, teacher incentives may decrease student achievement, especially in larger schools.”

Marsh suggests that a us program would be more effective if educators have “buy-in,” understand the program and its criteria and see the bonuses as worth putting for an extra effort to earn.

“These characteristics were lacking in many schools participating in the New York City program, and were a key reason why some educators said the program did not influence them to change their behavior,” she said in the statement.

As New York is looking to close its performance-based incentives program, D.C. Public Schools is shelling out the bonuses for 663 Washington Teachers’ Union members for earning the top rating of “highly effective” after the district released its annual assessment results Friday. At the same time, 413 other D.C. educators were let go for being deemed ineffective or failing to comply with licensure requirements. The school system announced the launch of its incentives program last year, allowing teachers to earn up to $26,000 in one-time bonuses for high performance.

The awarded bonuses and educator firings also come at a tumultuous time for DCPS. The district released early this month standardized test results that show overall improvements among its students, but the results and the district’s test practices have become the target of an Education Department investigation into alleged cheating among teachers to attain those scores.

Past studies have also shown that clever implementation and execution of cash incentives is key. Research by Scott Jeffrey, an assistant professor in the Department of Management Sciences at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, suggests that people even see tangible non-monetary incentives as more valuable and desirable than cash bonuses.

The RAND study also reflects similar findings: New York teachers surveyed for the study said simple incentives like receiving a high progress report grade or reaching adequate yearly progress goals served more as an impetus to perform throughout the year than a monetary reward.