Myra Blackmon: Time to Rise Up Against Testing!

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Myra Blackmon, journalist in Georgia, writes here about the testing resistance that is growing by the day,

“Despite Georgia’s ridiculous “assessment” of college and career readiness, it’s impossible to predict how the life of a first- or second-grader will turn out.

“All the tests we administer can’t predict a child’s future. The tests don’t measure real learning. They measure test-taking ability.
Research has shown that test scores are most accurate in measuring the socioeconomic level of the student.

“That’s correct. We use tests that don’t measure teacher competence or student learning to make or break careers, categorize children and place them in certain groups or pathways. We assume poor test scores mean a poor teacher, when often the opposite is true.

“We are obsessed with our ridiculous tests. The state legislature insists that test scores make up at least 50 percent of a teacher’s performance evaluation. The lobbyists for Pearson…

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Posted by on October 25, 2014 in Uncategorized


Common Core Assessments and the New SAT—Remarketing Inequality

Lloyd Lofthouse:

These tests—the Common Core and SAT—are cancers to education and the sooner we perform major surgery, the better will be our chance of survival.

Originally posted on The Public Educator:

I have been tutoring students on a regular basis for almost 30 years. I started tutoring students for various standardized tests in order to earn some extra money. The main reason was my discovery in the mid-1980s that diapers, formula, baby clothes, and regular doctor visits cost a lot. I started tutoring for the verbal parts PSAT, SAT, ACT, SSAT, COOP and SHSAT at that time and soon discovered that every one of these tests require students mastering pretty much the same strategies. In addition, I also discovered early on that the students who do poorly on these tests have pretty much the same deficits. Either they have weaknesses in language and vocabulary or they have difficulty decoding written text.

Let us talk about language and vocabulary. Language problems are often due to a variety of factors. One factor may be that the student has a language-based learning disability which…

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Posted by on October 24, 2014 in Uncategorized


Massachusetts Teachers Association Fights Attacks on Teachers’ Licenses

Lloyd Lofthouse:

We can’t win this war against the billionaire oligarchs and corporate pirates without educating the public so they really know what is going on so talk, talk, talk to everyone—use social media, the old fashioned phone, e-mails, snail mail letters …

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

The Massachusetts Teachers Association is taking a militant stand against the state’s plans to tie teachers’ licenses to student test scores. If you live in the state–the most academically successful state in the nation–please help fight this insulting and educationally retrograde move against the state’s teachers.

Worcester School Committee Tracy Novick blasted the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Read here to see what’s happening.

Here is an announcement from MTA:

“In our Reclaiming Public Education forums we have been talking about issues that are critically important to our members, and we are beginning to plan actions. We are facing one such issue now: the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s “performance-based” licensure proposals.

How would you feel about the prospect of losing your license to teach – not just your job – based on your evaluation and/or your students’ test scores? Several versions of just such a proposal…

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Posted by on October 23, 2014 in Uncategorized


The facts about Common Core and why it must be stopped

Originally published at on October 21, 2014 9:00 PM MST

What is Common CoreCommon Core is a set of uniform national curriculum standards for K-12 developed by DC based organizations under the auspices of the National Governors Association (NGA) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). These standards are disguised to many uninformed as standards that will help our children become better prepared for college. The Standards cover mathematics and English language arts (although they also claim to cover “literacy” in other subjects such as science, history/social studies, and technical subjects). Common Core is a special interest takeover of education that replaces local control with national standards, treating every child as though they are the same and learn the same. We all know that this is not the case. We must do something to stop this takeover, but we first have to educate ourselves before we can educate others.

Below is one of several videos created by Stop Common CoreAmerican Principles Project and the Concerned Women of America in Georgia on the Common Core State Standards. Watch Jane Robbins give a broad explanation of the problems with Common Core and then watch the other videos.  Just click on the link to the original piece.

Continued at:

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Facts about Common Core & why it must be stopped
From Concerned Women of America in Georgia


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).


His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His wife is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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An Investigation Into NY’s “Families for Excellent Schools”

Originally posted on deutsch29:

This morning, I read a post on education historian Diane Ravitch’s blog about an influential nonprofit in New York, Families for Excellent Schools (FES). It seems that nonprofit is wielding its influence to advance charter schools in New York City. As Ravitch writes:

Perdido Street blogger asks why it is impossible to find out who contributed to the lobbying group Families for Excellent Schools, which spent $6 million this year to prevent Mayor Bill de Blasio from regulating the charter school sector and won a law that forces the city to pay the rent of charters not located on public school grounds.

 The blogger quotes extensively from the business magazine Crain’s New York, which described how this lobbying group exploited loopholes to avoid complying with state laws that require disclosure of donors to political action committees. “Group is visible,” the article’s title says, “but not its donors.”

FES became…

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Posted by on October 18, 2014 in Uncategorized


Steve Barr Bails on McDonogh; Surplus Laptops Sold Bearing Student Data

Lloyd Lofthouse:

Where is the FBI and the Obama administration when they are needed to protect our children from the abuses of the corporate driven fake evacuation reform movement? Oh, I forgot. It was the Obama administration that opened the door to these Bill Gates, Walton and Koch brothers supported corporate fake Pub-Ed reformers, a reform movement based on nothing but lies and fraud.

Originally posted on deutsch29:

In February 2012, then-new Louisiana Superintendent John White told Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) about how he planned to work a marvel of renovation and preservation for New Orleans’ McDonogh High School by allowing Steve Barr, CEO of Green Dot Charters in Los Angeles (a businessman with no vested interest in the New Orleans community) to assume control of the school and work hand in hand with the locals:

RH: Post-Katrina, there were concerns about outsiders invading New Orleans schooling. There have been intense racial politics. How did you negotiate that during your time at the RSD, and how does that shape your approach going forward? 

JW: It’s extremely important as a leader to never give up on your ideals. But on the other hand, never give up on respecting everyone at the table. That gives you a baseline of credibility off of which to…

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Posted by on October 18, 2014 in Uncategorized


Schneider: The Mysterious Disappearance of a VAM Report on New Orleans

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Mercedes Schneider reports here on the efforts of the Cowen Institute at Tulane University to burnish the national image of the New Orleans’ all-charter model.

As part of its history of the “New Orleans Miracle,” Cowen has documented the transformation of New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina.

However, truth intrudes. Schneider writes:

“The Cowen Institute at Tulane University has been promoting the New Orleans Charter Miracle since 2007. Cowen Institute has been trying since then to sell the “transformed” post-Katrina education system in New Orleans.

“The results are tepid. Still, Cowen tries to sell this New Orleans. Consider this excerpt from Cowen’s history:

[Following Hurricane Katrina] the majority of schools reopened as charter schools, which are publicly-funded and operated by nonprofit organizations or universities, giving New Orleans a greater percentage of students in charter schools than any other district in the United States. Education entrepreneurs and veteran educators from around…

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Posted by on October 17, 2014 in Uncategorized


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