EdNext and the “Promise” of “Charter Choice”–But Let’s Not Mention the FBI

Lloyd Lofthouse:

There’s a lot of unregulated money to be made in “school choice”– so much so that the FBI is conducting investigations nationwide on criminal behavior rampant in America’s charter schools.

Originally posted on deutsch29:

I have written a couple of posts of late regarding the results of Education Next’s 2014 public opinion survey, especially as concerns EdNext’s and its editor-in-chief Paul Peterson’s attempts to sell the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) to a public that is only half aware of CCSS– and with the half who are aware increasingly rejecting those “common standards in English and math.”

(The New York Times will be sponsoring a CCSS debate on September 9, 2014. It has entitled its debate, “Embrace the Common Core,” and yet its own polling result shows overwhelming rejection of CCSS. As of this writing, the survey has approximately 41,500 responses– 89 percent of which are cast against CCSS. Apparently America is not too keen on the NYT-encouraged CCSS “”embrace.”)

Given the length of the EdNext survey, I have chosen to examine it– and Peterson’s cultivation of the education-privatization message– in a number…

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Posted by on September 1, 2014 in Uncategorized


Words of Wisdom from President of Lee County Teachers Association

Lloyd Lofthouse:

“Over the past 15 years, a dangerous hijacking of public education has taken place. Some of the catchphrases used to justify this are “accountability,” “failing schools,” “school choice,” “fire the ‘bad teachers’,” “the teachers unions,” ad nauseum. In reality, these have all misleadingly been used to promote one ultimate agenda: privatization of public education.”

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Mark J. Castellano, president of the Lee County Teachers Association, explains in this post that the Lee County school board defended a love of learning when it took a stand against the testing frenzy that has engulfed our schools.

He writes:

“Our state and our nation have become obsessed with standardized testing of students in public schools. Obsessed to the point it has changed what our public schools should be: strongholds of learning.

“Schools are places where children are meant to learn that reading, writing, math, science, music, art, and all fields of study are valued. These are the roads they can safely travel to achieve what they dream of becoming, of doing. They should be able to discover the outlet that will allow them to become more than “productive citizens,” but people with a passion, and contributors to our communities, our nation, and our world.

“Yet, over the past…

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Posted by on September 1, 2014 in Uncategorized


Peg Robertson: Be Reasonable? First, Do No Harm!

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Peg Robertson, a mother and teacher, responds to those who tell the Lee County Board of Education to be reasonable and to rescind their historic vote to opt out of testing. Peg wants them to stand strong and defend the children. She is one of the founders of United Opt Out.

She writes:

“As this common core and high stakes testing war comes to a head I am watching lots of folks trying to mediate and ask folks to be reasonable. They want to talk about all the harm that could come to our schools should we refuse these tests or refuse test prep common core curriculum. When I hear this my hair stands on end. Number one. Don’t flipping tell me to be reasonable. Don’t insult me – as a professional – my first job is to do NO HARM. THAT IS REASONABLE.

“Two. Speaking of harm – what…

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Posted by on September 1, 2014 in Uncategorized


Breaking News: Governor Jerry Brown Appeals Vergara Decision

Lloyd Lofthouse:

California’s governor stands up to confront the billionaire oligarchs who are out to destroy democratic public education by challenging the validity of the Vergara verdict and appealing the case to higher courts.

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

In a much-awaited decision, Governor Jerry Brown has appealed the Vergara decision.

LOS ANGELES (CBS / AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown appealed a court ruling that struck down tenure and other job protections for California’s teachers, setting himself apart from leaders in some other states who have fought to end such protections or at least raise the standards for obtaining them.

Attorney General Kamala Harris filed the appeal late Friday in a Los Angeles County court on behalf of the governor and the state.
The move came a day after Superior Court Judge Rulf Treu finalized his June ruling that found five laws violated the California Constitution by depriving some of the state’s 6.2 million students of a quality education. He’d earlier said the system “shocks the conscience.”

The governor’s one-page notice of appeal said that under the state’s constitution “the important issues presented in this case — if they…

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Posted by on August 30, 2014 in Uncategorized


California: Torlakson Will Seek Appeal of Vergara Decision

Lloyd Lofthouse:

Tom Torlakson just earned my vote.

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Schools in California, issued a statement today declaring his decision to seek appellate review of the Vergara decision. Torlakson is a veteran educator. His opponent Marshall Tuck immediately attacked Torlakson. Tuck, a former investment banker, was active in the charter school movement. Tenure is not the only or the most important issue that divides them. Tuck’s penchant for privatization would undermine public education across the state.

I know Tom Torlakson well. He is humble, knowledgeable, and understands schooling. I hope the voters of California are wise enough to re-elect him.

Tom Torlakson said today:


Earlier today I issued a statement regarding my decision to seek appellate review of the Vergara case, which has drawn considerable public attention in recent weeks.

Here is the complete text of my public statement:

“The people who dedicate their lives to the teaching profession deserve our admiration and support…

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Posted by on August 29, 2014 in Uncategorized


Beware the Charter Attrition Game

Lloyd Lofthouse:

How the fake education reformers, private-sector Charter schools fools the public repeatedly with help from the media. Are you one of those who are easy to fool?

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

The media loves the story of miracle schools. Imagine that! A school where 90% or more pass the state tests! Where 100% graduate. Where 100% are accepted into four-year colleges. Michael Klonsky once said to me, miracles happen only in the Bible. When the subject is schools, miracle claims should be carefully investigated.

With that caution and skepticism in mind, we turn again to a post by a researcher who works for the New York City Department of Education and must remain anonymous. This is the same researcher who chastised the media for ignoring attrition rates at Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy schools. In posting that article, I failed to capture the links to documentation (a terrible oversight, I admit). I include his/her links at the bottom of this article.

Ed Reformers Are Most Like (a) Pinocchio (b) Beavis:
Getting to the Bottom of the Reformer Distaste for Honest Analysis


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Posted by on August 28, 2014 in Uncategorized


Ohio Teacher Says “No Thanks” to StudentsFirst and $5,000

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Chris Roberts, a new teacher in Ohio, was attracted to the message of StudentsFirst. He was impressed by what he read and by “Waiting for Superman.” He joined and was invited to apply for their Teachers for Transformation Academy. He was offered a stipend of $5,000 to be StudentsFirst Teacher for Transformation Fellow in Ohio. But in his fourth year of teaching, he had an epiphany. He realized that StudentsFirst was wrong about everything that mattered to him as a teacher. He turned down their offer and the $5,000. And he wrote an eloquent letter to explain why.

This is a small part of a powerful letter:

“Now after four years in the classroom, my view of education has changed. Now, I am not so convinced that the StudentsFirst agenda is what is best for students. Those “older teachers” whom I felt didn’t deserve the seniority protections were actually some…

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Posted by on August 27, 2014 in Uncategorized


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