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Superintendent William Cala: “We Can No Longer Remain Silent”

Lloyd Lofthouse:

Education “reform,” he says, is not about educating children, it is about money and power.

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Watch Superintendent William Cala, as he eviscerates the so-called reform movement, including charter schools, the private money that shapes the politics of education, the reformers’ indifference to poverty, their refusal to acknowledge the root causes of low test scores, and the mandate that we all have to raise our voices and take action to stop the takeover of our schools. Education “reform,” he says, is not about educating children, it is about money and power.

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Posted by on March 31, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

How did Anti-Public School Corporate Reformers become the Dominant Force in Education Reform?

How did Anti-Public School Corporate Reformers become the Dominant Force in Education Reform?

Originally posted on The War Report on Public Education:

The following is a point by point summary by Dr. Deborah Owens, whose book, The Origins of the Common Core: How the Free Market Became Public Education Policy is the main focus of a War Report on Public Education mini- series that begins today, Sunday, March 29, 2015.
We here at War Report encourage our audience to listen to the series, read this synopsis, and respond in the comments section. We will have a new blog post from Deborah each week, a live internet radio show, and a podcast. We will address questions from our audience and we urge listeners and readers to please call in, respond to the blog post, and then listen and read ahead in preparation for next weeks show on the Common Core and the Corporate Ed Reform Agenda.

by Dr. Deborah Owens

How did anti-public school corporate reformers become the dominant force in education reform?  Here’s…

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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

GUEST VOICES: Opting Out in the Jersey Suburbs, Or, White Like Me by Belinda Edmondson

GUEST VOICES: Opting Out in the Jersey Suburbs, Or, White Like Me by Belinda Edmondson

Lloyd Lofthouse:

” I thought Montclair was full of black people. Active, vocal, black people. Brown people too. I thought I was black. So did my children, who had no idea they are white—or rich (yay!). But these are the facts about New Jersey, according to the reformers: only wealthy white liberals are opting out of PARCC.”

Originally posted on parentingthecore:

The latest attacks by the education reformers and standardized testing advocates against the test-refusal movement have focused on the issue of race.  For example, on March 25, 2015, Robert Pondiscio of The Thomas B. Fordham Institute wrote a piece titled “Opting out, race and reform.”  Dependably divisive Laura Waters then jumped on the bandwagon. As a white, suburban mom who is part of the test-refusal movement, I know from personal experience that this latest reformer narrative is deeply flawed, but I recognize that a privileged white woman arguing with other privileged white people about the experiences of people of color is an effective silencing of people of colors’ own voices.  So instead I reached out to friends of color who refused to allow their children to take the PARCC.  Below is a guest voice piece by my friend and neighbor, Belinda Edmondson, who has two children in…

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Posted by on March 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

MUST READ: Revelations of a Disillusioned Reformer

Lloyd Lofthouse:

Discover from an insider the house of FRAUD being built by corporate education reformers. A MUST READ for anyone interested in the facts and the truth of what is happening to our children and our teachers.

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

WOW.

This is a remarkable and candid story of Jorge Cabrera, who joined the reform movement as a believer. He wanted to help the children of Bridgeport, where he grew up. He wanted better schools. He was a community organizer for Excel Schools.

And then he learned the truth.

“As I began my work in the “education reform movement” in Bridgeport, I noticed a plethora of ivy league educated “consultants” and “transformational leaders” that littered the often loose coalition of funders, new organizations and executive directors. From the beginning, it was clear that many of these new “leaders” that were emerging were well credentialed. They had graduated from prestigious universities and, it was presumed (though not by me), that alone qualified them to lead. Many were very young (recent graduates), energetic, unmarried with no children and little life experience. They often exhibited a cultish commitment to “the movement.” Their zeal…

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Posted by on March 28, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Privatization of Camden, NJ, Public Schools Accelerates

Lloyd Lofthouse:

“The people of Camden had no say in this decision,” said the group, which noted the city district is under state control and does not have an elected school board—is this the beginning of the end of democracy starting at the bottom?

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

The state-appointed superintendent of the Camden, Néw Jersey, public schools announced that five public schools would be handed over to private charter chains. These schools will receive “significant” renovations to prepare them for the takeover by private managers. Three private organizations–KIPP, Mastery, and Uncommon Schools–have been designated to take over the schools and students.

“”This marks a new beginning for five of Camden’s most-struggling schools,” predicted Paymon Rouhanifard, the district’s state-appointed superintendent. “We hope this will be remembered as the moment we turned the corner.”

“A different view came from Save Our Schools New Jersey, an education-advocacy group. It asserted the schools were being “given” to private operators “to ensure a forced supply of students.”

“The people of Camden had no say in this decision,” said the group, which noted the city district is under state control and does not have an elected school board.

“Current staffers at the five…

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Posted by on March 26, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Finland is changing its education system AGAIN, and that change STILL doesn’t include standardized testing

While the United States and a few other countries have allowed UK’s Pearson—the largest private-sector, for profit education publisher and test generator in the world—greater influence in their countries, Finland is going in the opposite direction.

“Finland making drastic changes to an already successful education system. Why now? And will this model change the way other countries go about educating their children?” The Christian Science Monitor asks.

Despite having an education system that doesn’t rely on standardized test scores, Finnish students perform extremely well on exams that are given to students all over the developed world.

But now Finland is looking to overhaul its education system and will now focus more on “topics” and less on subjects, according to Alexander LaCasse for The Christian Science Monitor.

The Finns are calling this “phenomena” teaching while in the United States, teaching is called “TESTING”.

I ran into trouble embedding this vimeo video in the post so here’s the link or click Watch on Vimeo above:
https://vimeo.com/122720631

Alexander LaCasse, who wrote the piece for The Christian Science Monitor said, “Finland’s deviation on educational standards may come as a surprise to some – because Finland trails only Singapore and China in performance on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA), a standardized test given to 15 year olds in 65 of the world’s most developed countries.”

What the corporate reformers don’t want anyone to know is that poverty is the  problem—a challenge totally ignored by the rank and punish Common Core Standardized Testing culture promoted heavily by the Bill and Melinda Gates and Walton Family Foundations (in addition to a few other billionaires)—and not teachers or public schools.

If you watch the video that comes with this post, starting at 30:00, you will discover that when we compare U.S. Schools internationally, U.S. schools with less than 10% student poverty are ranked #1 in the world on the PISA test.

For instance, Finland has less than 4% childhood poverty compared to the U.S. that has at least 24% of its children living in poverty. In fact, high achieving countries that score high on international tests all have less than 10% of their children living in poverty.

Even U.S. schools with 25% childhood poverty rates rank #3 in the world on international tests and even schools that have 50% student poverty levels rank above international averages in reading.  In addition, 1 in 5 schools in the United States have 75% of children, or more, living in poverty.

The schools I taught in for 27 years of the 30 I spent in classrooms as a teacher had 70% – 80% childhood poverty rates.

Timeline for Crony Capitalist's War Against Public Education

More information on this issue:

Common Core-Aligned Test Publisher Pearson Using Personal Data to Spy on Students Online

Pearson is expanding its brand into the United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, South Africa, Brazil, India and Saudi Arabia. Pearson earns over $8 billion in annual global sales, with much more to come if countries continue to use standardized tests to rate students, teachers and schools.

For Pearson, Common Core is private profit

Among the likely benefactors of the extra funds were the four companies that dominate the testing market — three test publishers and one scoring firm.

Those four companies are Harcourt Educational Measurement, CTB McGraw-Hill, Riverside Publishing (a Houghton Mifflin company), and NCS Pearson. According to an October 2001 report in the industry newsletter Educational Marketer, Harcourt, CTB McGraw-Hill, and Riverside Publishing write 96 percent of the exams administered at the state level. NCS Pearson, meanwhile, is the leading scorer of standardized tests.

Even without the impetus of the No Child Left Behind Act, testing is a burgeoning industry. The National Board on Educational Testing and Public Policy at Boston College compiled data from The Bowker Annual, a compendium of the dollar-volume in test sales each year, and reported that while test sales in 1955 were $7 million (adjusted to 1998 dollars), that figure was $263 million in 1997, an increase of more than 3,000 percent. Today, press reports put the value of the testing market anywhere from $400 million to $700 million.

The Testing Industry’s Big Four

The British publishing giant Pearson had made few inroads in the United States — aside from distributing the TV game show “Family Feud” — when it announced plans in the summer of 2000 to spend $2.5 billion on an American testing company.

No profit left behind

The controversy over Common Core hasn’t stopped companies from cashing in on the education standards program.

States have already awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in Common Core-related contracts to businesses including Pearson, McGraw-Hill Education CTB, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Apple since 2012. And, despite some legal challenges and boycotts, more contracts potentially worth billions of dollars for testing, instructional materials and teacher training are on the way.

Companies cash in on Common Core despite controversy

What can we do? The answer is to refuse high stakes testing

UNITED POT OUT: The movement to End Corporate Education Reform

The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) works to end the misuses and flaws of standardized testing and to ensure that evaluation of students, teachers and schools is fair, open, valid and educationally beneficial.

Fair Test: The National Center for Fair and Open Testing

_______________________

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

Crazy is Normal promotional image with blurbs

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).

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Sign me up!”

 

Peter Greene: See This Film. It is Free. It is a Stunning Portrait of the “Reform” Hoax

Lloyd Lofthouse:

The film is a clear-eyed, well-sourced look at the business of test-driven corporate-managed profiteer-promoted education reform, and it has several strengths that make it excellent viewing both for those of us who have been staring at these issues for a while and for teachers and civilians who are just now starting to understand that something is going wrong.

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Peter Greene watched “Defies Measurement,” and he urges you to see it too. It was made by a teacher, Shannon Puckett. You can see it free here.

Greene writes:

Let me cut to the chase– I cannot recommend enough that you watch Defies Measurement, a new film by Shannon Puckett.

The film is a clear-eyed, well-sourced look at the business of test-driven corporate-managed profiteer-promoted education reform, and it has several strengths that make it excellent viewing both for those of us who have been staring at these issues for a while and for teachers and civilians who are just now starting to understand that something is going wrong.

The film is anchored by the story of Chipman Middle School in Alemeda, a school that up until ten years ago was an educational pioneer, using the solid research about brains and learning (and where Shannon Puckett once taught). They…

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Posted by on March 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

 
 
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