Reframing the Refrain: Choice as a Civil Rights Issue

Money quote:
“Can we imagine Martin Luther King, Jr., A. Philip Randolph, Ella Baker, or Rosa Parks marching on Washington to secure the right for parents to compete in lotteries for spaces in free-market schools? Rather than these figures, the managers of such reforms in fact seem to be emulating another iconic cultural figure: Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize-winning libertarian economist whose 1962 best-selling book was entitled “Free to Choose.”

Cloaking Inequity

Student achievement data in the U.S. show long-standing and persistent gaps in minority versus majority performance (Vasquez Heilig & Darling-Hammond, 2008). Public concern about pervasive inequalities in traditional public schools, combined with growing political, parental, and corporate support, has created the expectation that school choice is the solution for poor and minority youth (Vasquez Heilig, Williams, McNeil, & Lee, 2011). As a result, many reformers have framed school choice as a “civil rights” issue. Scott (2013a) argued that philanthropists, policy advocates, and leading pundits have followed Secretary Arne Duncan’s conjuring of Rosa Parks and the broader Civil Rights Movement as synonymous with market-based school choice.

It is notable that the school choice movement counts on prominent African American and Latina/o leaders to support vouchers, charters, parent trigger, and other forms of choice. For example, Mayor Castro and other prominent Latina/os in San Antonio, Texas have escalated their search to recruit…

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The facts about the Common Core Standards

Excellent synopsis of Diane Ravitch analysis here.

Seattle Education


The State of Washington signed on to administer the Common Core Standards in our schools with approval of the ed reform Bill 6696. That means that there will be new textbooks, lesson plans, worksheets with correlating homework and tests to make sure that our students are all on the same page at the same time no matter the location of the district or your child’s abilities or the level of each class academically.

Charter schools, option schools or public schools, each student is to know the same material at the same time at the same age. Is that how actual children grow and develop? No matter. It wasn’t educators who designed the curriculum, it was a few people who decided it would be a good idea to develop (market) “standards” even if in comparison the standards were lower than the state’s orignal standards. So much for thinking “outside the box” as many…

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Why the DSEA should not let News Journal reporters think evaluations based on test scores is OK is because it’s dead wrong.