@GovernorMarkell does what he wants when he travels, gets called on it, and his spokesperson responds

A spokeswoman for the Democratic governor criticized the report, calling it a political smear. “It is not hard to imagine that this review may have been motivated more by politics than by a good-faith desire to improve state travel policies,” spokeswoman Kelly Bachman said.

Or he did just what the auditor said, and you are playing politics and smearing the auditor.

Gee, I wonder which it is.


Things that make me happy: RT @MLB Legendary @Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully will return to the booth for his 66th season in 2015.

UARK Study Shamelessly (& Knowingly) Uses Bogus Measures to Make Charter Productivity Claims

Originally posted on School Finance 101:

Any good study of the relative productivity and efficiency of charter schools compared to other schools (if such comparisons were worthwhile to begin with) would require precise estimates of comparable financial inputs and outcomes as well as the conditions under which those inputs are expected to yield outcomes.

The University of Arkansas Department of Education Reform has just produced a follow up to their previous analysis in which they proclaimed boldly that charter schools are desperately uniformly everywhere and anywhere deprived of thousands of dollars per pupil when compared with their bloated overfunded public district counterparts (yes… that’s a bit of a mis-characterization of their claims… but closer than their bizarre characterization of my critique).

I wrote a critique of that report pointing out how they had made numerous bogus assumptions and ill-conceived, technically inept comparisons which in most cases dramatically overstated their predetermined, handsomely paid for, but shamelessly wrong…

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Daniel Wydo Disaggregates PISA Scores by Income

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Daniel Wydo, a teacher in North Carolina, sent this analysis of 2012 PISA:

Here’s what the mainstream media will NOT tell you about 2012 PISA. When comparing U.S. schools with less than 10% of students qualifying for free/reduced lunch, here’s how U.S. students (of which almost 25% are considered poor by OECD standards and of which nationally on average about 50% qualify for free/reduced lunch) rank compared to all other countries including one I chose to purposely compare – Finland (of which about 5% are considered poor by OECD standards):

*Shanghai is disqualified for obvious reasons.

Science literacy

U.S. schools with less than 10% free/reduced – score=556 [1st in the world]

Finland – ranked 4th in the world

Reading literacy

U.S. schools with less than 10% free/reduced – score=559 [1st in the world]

Finland – ranked 5th in the world

Mathematics literacy

U.S. schools with less than 10% free/reduced –…

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Originally posted on WagTheDog:


Tests confirm…ed reformers are suffering from impaired judgement and diminished critical thinking skills due to an acute case of PISA envy.

Ed reformers should reconsider their admiration for education systems that prepare young people to live and work in closed societies that don’t value creativity, freedom of expression, and independent thinking.

In a free and open democratic society education should serve the needs and interests of students, rather than data miners, corporations, or the state.

Common Core may “promise” deeper learning and critical thinking but the sterilized and standardized curriculum of scripted modules, discipline of thought, and continuous test prep would be more appropriate for classrooms in nations that expect conformity and require obedience from their citizens and workers.

In their quest for higher PISA scores, other nations will cultivate compliance and competition in the classroom rather than creativity and collaboration so that students willingly attend after-hours tutoring, Saturday…

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Knowledge vs. Wisdom: A Common Core Conundrum

Originally posted on WagTheDog:


Many people have expressed concern regarding David Coleman’s lack of experience in the classroom. Coleman himself has acknowledged his lack of qualifications for serving as the lead author and architect of the Common Core State Standards.

There is a big difference between being knowledgeable in a subject matter and having wisdom. Knowledge can be obtained through education, while wisdom is most often acquired through experience.

More troubling than David Coleman’s lack of classroom experience is his lack of work experience which greatly diminishes his wisdom regarding work-based literacy skills and his qualifications for writing career readiness standards.

Wisdom aside, David Coleman clearly loves to dive deeply into text..

“David Coleman stood at a podium reciting poetry. After reading Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night,” a classic example of the villanelle form, Coleman wanted to know why green is the only color mentioned in the poem, why Thomas uses the grammatically incorrect go gentle instead of go gently…

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Passion and Purpose

Originally posted on WagTheDog:


David Coleman has made it perfectly clear there is no “room” in the Common Core for such trivial matters as students’ thoughts, feelings, and personal reflections.

Coleman may claim his emotionless Common Core will improve the career readiness of students but there is ample evidence that what employees think and feel has a direct impact on worker engagement and job satisfaction.

“Best places to work” companies don’t just have ping pong tables and free lunch, they have a “ soul” which makes work exciting and energizing. They invest in great management and leadership. The train and develop people so they can grow. And they define their business in a way that brings meaning and purpose to the organization…Now is the time to think holistically about your company’s work environment and consider what you can do to create passion, engagement, and commitment. It may be “the issue” we face in business over the…

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A July 21, 2014, Update on Common Core, PARCC, and Smarter Balanced

Originally posted on @ THE CHALK FACE:

On Sunday, July 20, 2014, I took the day off from writing. No book editing; no blogging.

I think I have done so only for one other day since May.

Instead, I read a book for the sheer enjoyment of reading. I chose my all-time favorite, a work of fiction by C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce.

In the preface, Lewis makes the following statement:

A wrong sum can be put right: but only by going back till you find the error and working it afresh from that point, never by simply going on.

And so it is with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). CCSS was a train wreck waiting to occur from inception (see here, as well). Thus, to borrow Lewis’ math analogy, the CCSS error occurred in the planning stages. To try to “correct” CCSS at any subsequent point is an utter waste.

When 46…

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Stupid, Stupid, Stupid Quote In News Journal On Education…..

Originally posted on kavips:

And I quote:

“In the heat of a battle, the losing team has must double down with greater intensity and resistance to the unpleasant reality it faces. It’s how underdogs gain the mental advantage over imposing forces…..  

Is it?  Is that how the battle of Belleau Wood was won?  And not because we just pushed wave after wave of Marines (the 7th Army refused) into machine gun fire and only because the Germans filled our men with so many bullets that they ran out.  They’ve never planned for killing so many before and didn’t have enough on hand…

Is it?  Is that how Grant won the Civil War, and not by just throwing line after line of American boys at the enemy with no regard to causalities until the enemy lost so much it had to pull back?

It is? is that how America won the Battle of the Bulge, and not by Patton’s 100 mile…

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Back In The Game

Originally posted on Exceptional Delaware:

Last night, my son and I went to XBos.  It’s like Chuck-E-Cheese but bigger and cooler.  I sat at a table with my laptop, looking up information for an article, while my son and his friend were running around on the monstrously huge jungle gym.  My son has a knack for getting a crowd going at these kinds of places.  Within minutes a whole group of kids were chasing each other.  I sat back and smiled, content my son was having fun.

Last fall, when my son was having a very rough time with his previous charter school “in the county of Kent”, there were rare moments of happiness for him.  Once a week though, he would get very excited for a TV show called Back In The Game.  This show was about a woman with a ten year old son who got divorced and moved back in with her dad. …

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@DSEA1 press release brings more schizophrenic fail on DCAS test score release, VAM, and the need to support teachers. #netDE

Not sure where to begin as 7, count them 7, locals forwarded this to me! I will post comments inside the press release in RED.




for immediate release You may want to rethink that in a minute…

Contact person:  David Wright

Company:  Delaware State Education Association

Phone(302) 734-5834

Fax(302) 674-9499




DSEA applauds DCAS results What? Applauds the testing they so frequently deride?; Calls for commitment to full-funding, appropriate materials, and time to fully transition to Common Core Standards Well, this dovetails so nicely with testing doesn’t it?

Dover, Del. July 17th — The Delaware State Education Association celebrates the significant gains I think DSEA needs math class here, we literally went backwards in scores. How is this a gain?…unless you swallow the BULLSHIT DOE analysis achieved by Delaware students in the recently released scores from the Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS).

Scores from the 2013-2014 assessments were released to the public by the Department of Education at today’s meeting of the State Board of Education.

“Our education professionals are standing strong for student success in schools across Delaware,” said Frederika Jenner, DSEA President Huh? I thought test scores were not a effective measure of teaching,I’m almost certain DSEA has this exact position…or is that only at their RA?.  “We are especially proud of the students and staffs of Lewis Dual-Language, Booker T. Washington, and Marbrook Elementary Schools for their outstanding gains in both reading and math. We make our greatest, long-term impact by developing consistent and early success in our younger students.” Again, based on flawed tests.

The results released by the Department show that students statewide sustained the gains made in recent years, with even more of these same students meeting their individual growth targets on this year’s tests. So, sustaining gains on tests not vetted to be valid, that are criticized by the same State Board that authorized them, and are being thrown in the garbage, literally this year, is good? laudable? excellent? Is DSEA even serious here?

Fifty-seven percent of students met their expected growth target in math, an increase of five-percent from 2013.  In reading, 55-percent met their expected growth target, up from 52-percent in 2013. Is that pride I read in this paragraph? If so, wow.

These gains are a continuation of a path of consistent growth since 2011. <– DOE ghostwriter earning their keep right there!

The percentage of students proficient in math has progressed from a mark of 62-percent in 2011 to 73-percent in 2012, 70-percent in 2013, and 69-percent in 2014.  A sustained increase of 10% over the past four years is laudable, not stagnant or flat.  Now this, is hilarious. I guess 2 negatives do make a positive. Credibility, vaporized: in two succinct sentences. Also, it’s three years of “sustained gains” 2011 was the baseline. I am dead serious, who ever wrote this needs a copy editor who works in math.


In reading, the percentage of students proficient has progressed from 61-percent in 2011 to 73-percent in 2012, 72-percent in 2013, and 72-percent in 2014.  A increase of nearly 20-percent over where scores were in 2011 is, again, an impressive example of sustained growth and not an indication of scores ‘flatlining.’ Again, 72 to 70 to 70 is NOT flat-lining. Who the hell writes this and believes it. Who?

While these results are encouraging, DSEA continues to press elected and appointed leaders in the State to not rest on these successes Is the DSEA really saying that nearly 3 out of every ten kids being non proficient is the definition of “successes”? , but instead demonstrate their continued commitment to providing both students and educators with every available resource needed to impact and improve the education offered in our schools. No, teachers as professionals deserve this support, NOT as a result of tests that tell us nothing meaningful.

Secretary Murphy stated at the Board meeting that student success is a “District responsibility.” Smooth move by Mr. Duck My Responsibilities.  DSEA agrees, and also believes that responsibility is shared by the teachers, principals, school boards, state officials, and parents. DSEA gives the DOE a 100% free pass here? WTF?

“Everyone shares the responsibility to provide educators the support and resources necessary to help their student succeed,” YES! said Jenner.  “Our schools need funding that is more closely tied to their students’ special needs, our classrooms need appropriate materials for teaching and learning, YES! and our students and educators need time to adequately prepare for the instructional shifts required with the Common Core State Standards.” What? Why? Do these work? Proof please.

Debating Common Core Is Proof that Educators Have Lost

Originally posted on the becoming radical:

Recently, many within and among the AFT and NEA communities have been applauding that summer conventions have devoted time to debating the Common Core, some going as far as hailing that debate as proof of democracy in action.

The key problem with those claims is that the Common Core debate has been decided for educators, and not by educators. And thus, debating the Common Core is proof that educators have lost.

AFT, NEA, and the Democratic party (all long associated with supporting public education) are failing that commitment because each is focused primarily on preserving the organization and not seeking the principles that these organizations were intended to honor (see Susan Ohanian).

The entire Common Core charade, in fact, has revealed the worst aspect of partisanship—the need to support Team A over Team B in the pursuit of winning, ethics and principles be damned. Ultimately, that educators are…

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Paul Thomas on Arne Duncan and the Myth of Low Expectations

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Paul Thomas here reviews many of the public statements of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and finds a common theme: the cause of low test scores is low expectations.

If only society, the schools, and parents had higher expectations, no child would be left behind, no child would ever get low test scores, children with disabilities would excel.

Embedded in this claim is the strange belief that poverty, hunger, homelessness, racism, and other social maladies have no effect on students’ ability to learn in school.

Thomas refers to a list of popular but misguided beliefs that Duncan loves to repeat because they support his narrative of blaming teachers, parents, and schools:

In a recent blog post, Jack Schneider identified 10 popular reform claims offered by the current slate of education reformers, including Bill Gates, Michelle Rhee, and Duncan himself:

Claim 1: American teachers need more incentive to work hard….

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A Spirited Debate about Common Core at AFT Convention

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Stephen Sawchuck did a good job reporting the heated debate about the Common Core standards at the AFT convention. The Chicago Teachers Union wanted to dump them. The head of the New York City United Federation of Teachers mocked the critics of the standards. One union official said that the critics represented the Tea Party. That’s pretty insulting to the Chicago Teachers Union and one-third of the AFT delegates, as well as people like Anthony Cody, Carol Burris, and me.

As far as I can tell, no one explained how states and districts will find the hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for hardware and software required for “the promise of Common Core.” Early estimates indicate that Pearson will have a contract of $1 billion to develop the PARCC tests. Who will pay Pearson? Who will be laid off? How large will class sizes go?

There were no Martians…

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Clay Pell: A Fresh Face for Rhode Island Governor

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Clay Pell, a grandson of Rhode Island’s legendary Senator Claiborne Pell, announced that he is running for governor. Since the other two candidates are allied with corporate reformers, Pell offers hope that he might take a different tack and actually help public education (despite his own elite schooling).

Clay has two distinctions. First, he is 32, which would make him the nation’s youngest governor if elected. Second, he is married to ice skating star Michelle Kwan.

What he should do right now: meet with the Providence Student Union, whose members know more about education than the state board of education.

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American Federation of Teachers: “Remediating” Duncan and Retaining the “Corrupted” Common Core

Originally posted on @ THE CHALK FACE:

I’m wondering what of substance was accomplished thus far at the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) national convention in Los Angeles July 11-14, 2014.

On July 13, 2014, AFT was supposed to consider asking for U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan’s resignation. The National Education Association (NEA) passed a resolution on July 4, 2014, asking Duncan to resign. However, as education historian Diane Ravitch points out, Duncan is only following the orders of President Obama:

I can personally vouch for the fact that Duncan is doing exactly what Obama wants. In the fall of 2009, I had a private meeting with Secretary Duncan, just the two of us, no staff. It was very pleasant. He was charming, pleasant, and took notes. I asked him, “Why are you traveling the country to sell Race to the Top accompanied by Reverend Al Sharpton and Newt Gingrich? Why Gingrich?” His answer:…

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