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Poll: Nearly Half of Public Never Heard of CCSS

Diane Ravitch's blog

You know those national standards that were “developed by the governors” and “state-led”?

A new poll shows that nearly half the public never heard of them.

When asked whether they like the idea of standards that are globally competitive and the same everywhere, 27% said they “strongly support” the idea.

Problems arise with implementation and testing. Also with early childhood education. And flawed teacher evaluation tied to test scores. Other than that…..

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D.C. Suspends Use of Test Scores in Teacher Evaluations

Diane Ravitch's blog

The District of Columbia has suspended the use of test scores as part of teacher evaluations, a practice which was the hallmark of Michelle Rhee’s tenure as chancellor of that district and which led to the firing of hundreds of teachers.

Chancellor Kaya Henderson said the district needs time to phase in new Common Core tests.

“Chancellor Kaya Henderson announced the decision, saying officials are concerned it wouldn’t be fair to use the new tests until a baseline is established and any complications are worked out.

“The District has fired hundreds of teachers under the system, which was put in place by Henderson’s predecessor, Michelle Rhee. Test scores make up 35 percent of evaluations for those who teach students in the tested grades and subjects.

“Last week, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation joined the two largest teachers’ unions in calling for a temporary halt to evaluating teachers based on…

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Connecticut: Charter School CEO Does Not Have Doctorate, As Claimed

Diane Ravitch's blog

Yesterday, it was revealed by the media that the CEO of one of Connecticut’s charter chains, Michael Sharpe, has a criminal background. Today the story emerged that he does not have a doctorate, although the chain’s website refers to him as “Dr. Sharpe.” Perhaps of greater significance is that his charter school in Hartford did not enroll a single bilingual student in six years. Sharpe says he never claimed to have a doctorate but somehow he was often described as “Dr. Sharpe.”

Says the Hartford Courant:

“HARTFORD — In a New Year’s message last December, the CEO of the Jumoke Academy charter school shared his enthusiastic vision for 2014, signing the letter, “Yours Truly, Dr. Michael Sharpe.”

“Some version of that prestigious academic credential has been attached to Sharpe for the last decade in school materials and biographies, which variously credit him as having a doctorate in education or…

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Breaking News: R.I. House of Representatives Passes 3-Year Ban on High-Stakes Graduation Test

Diane Ravitch's blog

In a big victory for the Providence Student Union, the Rhode Island House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a three-year moratorium on the use of a high-stakes graduation test. The vote was 63-3. A similar bill was passed earlier by the State Senate. The legislation now goes to Governor Lincoln Chafee.

The PSU engaged in numerous acts of political theater to demonstrate their opposition to the use of a standardized test as a graduation requirement. They held a “zombie march” in front of the Rhode Island Department of Education, they invited accomplished professionals to take a test composed of released items from the NECAP test (60% failed), they delivered a “state of the student address,” and they found many other creative ways to dramatize their cause. They proved to the world that kids today are amazing!

The Providence Student Union issued this statement:

“Today, the Rhode Island House of Representatives…

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