The PTA forum’s the thing wherein we’ll catch the conscience of John King


On October 12th, two days after a contentious NY PTA-sponsored forum during which parents and educators questioned the implementation and ethics of the Common Core State Standards and the testing and data-sharing that accompany them, NY Education Commissioner John Kingdecided to cancel the rest of his Common Core promotion tour, blaming “special interests whose stated goal is to ‘dominate’ the questions and manipulate the forum.”

He lamented that “The disruptions caused by the special interests have deprived parents of the opportunity to listen, ask questions and offer comments. Essentially, dialogue has been denied. In light of the clear intention of these special interest groups to continue to manipulate the forum, the PTA-sponsored events scheduled have been suspended.”

Indeed, “dialogue has been denied”– but by Commissioner King himself.  And these cancellations beg the questions: Why the paranoia?  Why the certainty that the questions and challenges directed at him in Poughkeepsie…

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Robert D. Shepherd on inBloom

Diane Ravitch's blog

Robert D. Shepherd, curriculum writer and author, left the following comment following Andrea Gabor’s post about the data collecting and data mining business called inBloom.

He writes:

“There were 55,235,000 K-12 public school students in the US in 2010. At $5.00 apiece for inBloom, that would amount to $276,175,000 a year. And if inBloom had a large existing database, it would become a monopoly provider. Switching from it would be next to impossible.

But that’s just the beginning. The whole point of gathering this real-time data on student responses is to link it to online adaptive curricula, with inBloom 2.0 as the gateway, the portal, for delivery of that curricula–

serving up the mind-blowingly inane online worksheet on the schwa sound to little Yolanda and the Powerpoint-like online worksheet on the foil method for factoring to little Kwame. The fans of this online adaptive curricula are the sort of people…

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Time for a Laugh Out Loud Moment

Diane Ravitch's blog

Alright, boys and girls, time for a standardized test.

Sharpen your #2 pencils.

There is a time limit. There will be no accommodations for those with disabilities.

If you do well, your teacher gets a bonus.

If you fail, your teacher will be fired and your school will be closed.

Here is the test.

Good luck!

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