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.

 

 

PRESS RELEASE
 

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

Emaildavid.wright@dsea.org

Websitewww.dsea.org

 

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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@ChrisCoons links up with ed reformers Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) looking for $$ based on being in a competitive match for election???? #netDE #eduDE

http://www.dfer.org/blog/author/joe-williams-1/

DFER’s Blog – Joe Williams

I believe that we will win…

     

I know we’ve all been glued to the TV since the USA beat Ghana, so you’re forgiven if you missed the launch of The DFER List last week. (The press took notice.) But, please take a second now to peel your eyes from the TV to check it out. This is a big step for our movement. And this month The DFER List is featuring our own Team USA – Team DFER, nine ed champions who are also our June Reformers of the Month.

These nine play vital roles in advancing progressive education reforms across the country and are true advocates for our kids. But many of these champions are heading into highly competitive matches.

- See more at: http://www.dfer.org/blog/author/joe-williams-1/#sthash.dfGc5bhx.dp

DFER’s Blog – Joe Williams

I believe that we will win…

     

I know we’ve all been glued to the TV since the USA beat Ghana, so you’re forgiven if you missed the launch of The DFER List last week. (The press took notice.) But, please take a second now to peel your eyes from the TV to check it out. This is a big step for our movement. And this month The DFER List is featuring our own Team USA – Team DFER, nine ed champions who are also our June Reformers of the Month.

These nine play vital roles in advancing progressive education reforms across the country and are true advocates for our kids. But many of these champions are heading into highly competitive matches.

- See more at: http://www.dfer.org/blog/author/joe-williams-1/#sthash.dfGc5bhx.dpuf

https://dferlist.org/page/candidates

DFER’s Blog – Joe Williams

I believe that we will win…

     

I know we’ve all been glued to the TV since the USA beat Ghana, so you’re forgiven if you missed the launch of The DFER List last week. (The press took notice.) But, please take a second now to peel your eyes from the TV to check it out. This is a big step for our movement. And this month The DFER List is featuring our own Team USA – Team DFER, nine ed champions who are also our June Reformers of the Month.

These nine play vital roles in advancing progressive education reforms across the country and are true advocates for our kids. But many of these champions are heading into highly competitive matches.

- See more at: http://www.dfer.org/blog/author/joe-williams-1/#sthash.dfGc5bhx.dpuf

DFER’s Blog – Joe Williams

I believe that we will win…

     

I know we’ve all been glued to the TV since the USA beat Ghana, so you’re forgiven if you missed the launch of The DFER List last week. (The press took notice.) But, please take a second now to peel your eyes from the TV to check it out. This is a big step for our movement. And this month The DFER List is featuring our own Team USA – Team DFER, nine ed champions who are also our June Reformers of the Month.

These nine play vital roles in advancing progressive education reforms across the country and are true advocates for our kids. But many of these champions are heading into highly competitive matches.

- See more at: http://www.dfer.org/blog/author/joe-williams-1/#sthash.dfGc5bhx.dpuf

DFER’s Blog – Joe Williams

I believe that we will win…

     

I know we’ve all been glued to the TV since the USA beat Ghana, so you’re forgiven if you missed the launch of The DFER List last week. (The press took notice.) But, please take a second now to peel your eyes from the TV to check it out. This is a big step for our movement. And this month The DFER List is featuring our own Team USA – Team DFER, nine ed champions who are also our June Reformers of the Month.

These nine play vital roles in advancing progressive education reforms across the country and are true advocates for our kids. But many of these champions are heading into highly competitive matches.

- See more at: http://www.dfer.org/blog/author/joe-williams-1/#sthash.dfGc5bhx.dpuf

More proof Delaware Sec of Education lacks capacity to lead! Ships Spec Needs students out of state!

Originally posted on Kilroy's delaware:

DE’s Institutionalized Discrimination against our Beyond-Complex Students Continues… There is no room in at the Inn. by Children and Educators First 

In 2013, the cases of 120 children were brought before ICT – 15 more than in 2012. This committee evaluated 43 new cases, while privately placing 117 children and providing three with other unique alternatives, namely deeming these children eligible for 1:1 services in their existing public school setting. Sixty-six of the 117 privately placed children were served in private day programs while the remaining 51 were moved to residential programs.

Of the 51 students who moved into residential programs, 19 were served in-state at AdvoServ, located in Bear, DE.  The remaining children, all 32 of them, were moved away from their families, their homes, and their support systems, and sent out of state by ICT. Ten of these 32 were fortunate enough to be accepted at one of…

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While unfortunate, absolutely necessary!

John Young:

Don’t park in front of Fire Hydrants.

Originally posted on wilmfirechief:

On 6/6/14 the WFD was dispatched to a row home fire at 808 N. Vanburen Street. Fire Dispatchers indicated that they were receiving several calls and Fire Officers working in other nearby structures provided information that they could see a column of smoke coming from that area.

Based on the reports I responded to the scene and arrived at the same time as the first arriving Battalion Chief and the first arriving Engine Company.

Bystanders immediately began telling firefighters that the occupants were unaccounted for and that there was a family pet dog in the home. The Battalion Chief quickly sized up the scene and it was clear by the conditions that we had a working fire!

The first Engine on scene (Squad 1) positioned their apparatus and the hydrant person finds that the hydrant is blocked by a vehicle which already had a parking ticket on it! Two off…

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Council wants me terminated! No Surprise!

Originally posted on wilmfirechief:

In another attempt to silence and disrespect me, Councilman Brown and Council President Gregory are attempting to twist and turn my words! There intention is to paint a inaccurate picture of me as a leader and Appointed Department Head.

In response to that, I am providing you an excerpt from the earlier blog which they are referring too. Take a look at it and read it in its entirety so that you can form your own opinion. As the writer I can tell you that the wording was not meant to be a threat, it is merely reality. As the administration of the WFD we will be forced to consider closing a company in one of the 8 council districts, all districts including those of those council members who supported the legislation.

Here is the excerpt:

Do you know who your Council District Council Person is?
If not I suggest…

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Response to Councils 8 to 5 vote.

Originally posted on wilmfirechief:

Last night Wilmington City Council successfully voted to reduce the WFD FY15 budget $511k which would fund 8 Firefighter positions. As of this week the Wilmington Fire Department has 10 vacancies and has been working with Human Resources to start a hiring process.

Currently each vacancy is being filled with an overtime firefighter in order to keep all fire suppression units in service. Due to a lack of overtime funding, we will not be able to maintain the practice of filling the vacancies with overtime. If we do not fill current and future vacancies and we expend all overtime funds, we will be forced to close a unit every day. Closing a unit will result in increased response times and places lives and property in danger.

Over the past few years the Wilmington Fire Department has reduced it’s operating budget as well as being forced to permanently close a fire…

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Politico: AFT Opens Up Common Core Debate

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Stephanie Simon of politico.com reports that Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, has invited members to debate the Common Core standards at the organization’s convention in Los Angeles.

Until now, Weingarten and the AFT have strongly defended the standards. But she has been reconsidering their value over the past 15 months. In April 2013, she said in a major speech in Néw York City that the standards should be separated from high-stakes testing because there had been inadequate preparation for them—little or no professional development, materials, or other necessary tools. In Néw York state, implementation of Common Core testing was hurried and slipshod. The passing marks were set so high that 70% of students failed–failure by design.

The Common Core standards have recently been in free fall. The Gates Foundation–which paid over $2 billion to write and promote the Common Core–has called for a moratorium on…

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Delaware DOE: The Eye of the Hurricane in Special Education #netde #edude @del_gov @DEStateBoardEd @usedgov

Originally posted on Exceptional Delaware:

In a hurricane, everything is wild and chaotic.  Winds are fierce, rain is massive, and destruction looms.  Many people flee, but some stay hoping for the best.  Homes are destroyed, roads are flooded, and lives are frequently lost.  In the middle of a hurricane, everything is calm.  It can sometimes be sunny, and rain may not be present and it can be viewed as a moment of peace.  The eye is the center of the hurricane, and everything that happens is a result of the eye.  This is the Delaware Department of Education in regards to special education.

Last week, I met with the Exceptional Children Group, the Delaware Department of Education’s special education department.  I met with their director, Mary Ann Mieczkowski, as well as the DOE’s public information officer, Alison May.  I had several questions stemming from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) report on Delaware’s special education…

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