YES! Reaching the Public with “The Myth of Our Failing Schools”

Diane Ravitch's blog

YES! Magazine devotes a special issue to public education and its findings  will not surprise readers of this blog.

The lead article by executive editor Dean Paton is “The Myth Behind Public School Failure,” demonstrating that our public schools are NOT failing. Here is the line that follows the title:

“In the rush to privatize the country’s schools, corporations and politicians have decimated school budgets, replaced teaching with standardized testing, and placed the blame on teachers and students.”

There is also a powerful infographic titled “Why Corporations Want Our Public Schools.”

The answer will not surprise you.

The important point about YES! is that the message about the theft of our public schools is reaching a larger public.

This is good news.

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The Lie That Our Schools Are Failing


The Lie That Our Schools Are Failing

With scores going up in every category, how do they contort that into saying education is failing? It’s not…

Here is how it is done. This same trick was tried last year by Harvard, Mark Murphy and Jack Markell and is used every time they say Delaware’s SAT’s are below national average..

Duh, we test every student. Very few other states do…..

So we are hurting our children by making Draconian reforms that were never needed in the first place… If a foreign government was hurting our children as is Common Core, we’d be at war now.

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Seattle pushes back on Common Core Standards and high-stakes testing

Seattle Education


The Battle for Seattle continues.

Please submit this resolution, modified for your district, for adoption at the March 9th Democratic district caucuses, specifically the legislative district chair. The deadline for submissions is this Wednesday. The more districts that pass a resolution against Common Core Standards, the more likely it will pass at the county and, ultimately, the state levels.



WHEREAS the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) are a set of academic standards, promoted and supported by two private membership organizations, the National Governors’ Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), who receive millions of dollars from private third parties, philanthropies, and corporate interests to advocate for and develop the CCSS without a grant of authority from any state; and

WHEREAS the CCSS were developed by a committee of 24 individuals, almost all of whom were…

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DDOE ESEA Flexibility waiver language….look out DE schools

Here comes trouble:

Identification of new cohort of Priority Schools schools For purposes of this new cohort of Priority schools, the definition in the regulation is no longer operational because of its reliance of the NCLB construct of schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring. As noted in amendment area #1, the Academic Framework will be used to determine the Priority schools.

Specific Requirements, Timelines,Memorandum of Understanding and Agreements LEAs that have Priority schools must, in partnership with the State, select one of the four intervention models. The regulation requires that the DDOE and the LEA enter a Memorandum of Understanding(MOU) regarding the selection of the model–closure, restart, turnaround, or transformation–as well as regarding the details of the implementation of the plan. For each of the four options, certain elements are mandated by regulation.In addition,no matter which model is chosen, the requirements establish a shared reporting structure hereby the school leadership reports to the district and the state, and DDOE will be establishing clear protocols in this regard to ensure appropriate state reporting and support as part of the revised MOU that each Priority school, its district, and the state must complete.

[Note that we are deleting the current MOU from the ESEA waiver.]Further, under any model, the Priority school strategy must be based on solid evidence of what critical elements must be addressed to ensure the greatest likelihood of success to dramatically improve student achievement, exit Priority school status, and become a high-performing school.

This includes, for example,implementing such strategies as recruitment, induction, and coaching of teachers and school leaders; increasing opportunities for promotion and career growth;establishing schedules and implementing strategies that provide increased learning time that is student centered; giving the school sufficient operational flexibility; and other elements as determined by the Secretary that evidence shows supports great teaching and leading and dramatically improving student achievement toward college and career -ready outcomes, particularly with regard to high-poverty students and schools.

As our experience and evidence in school turnaround improves–both in Delaware and nationwide–so, too, must our expectations and requirements for evidenced based actions.

In particular, Delaware will expect all Priority schools to have a leadership team with experience and evidence of success in turning around underperforming schools, including through an Education Management Organization (EMO), Charter Management Organization CMO), or principal leader.

This is particularly true for Priority schools that have not improved over time or are in districts that are themselves underperforming. Once a plan is agreed upon and implemented, the regulation provides the State with the authority to intervene to ensure rapid improvements in performance.

The Teachers


by Sarah Blaine

We all know what teachers do, right? After all, we were all students. Each one of us, each product of public education, we each sat through class after class for thirteen years. We encountered dozens of teachers. We had our kindergarten teachers and our first grade teachers and our fifth grade teachers and our gym teachers and our art teachers and our music teachers. We had our science teachers and our social studies teachers and our English teachers and our math teachers. If we were lucky, we might even have had our Latin teachers or our Spanish teachers or our physics teachers or our psychology teachers. Heck, I even had a seventh grade “Communications Skills” teacher. We had our guidance counselors and our principals and some of us had our special education teachers and our study hall monitors.

So we know teachers. We get teachers. We know…

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