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Have You Heard? The Koch Plan to Eliminate Public Education

Diane Ravitch's blog

This is an important, can’t-miss podcast about the malign plans of one of the richest men in the world.

Business reporter Christopher Leonard has written a best-selling new book called Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America.It’s an eye-opening account of how the Kochs built the private company that has made them richer than Bill Gates. Leonard spent seven years reporting the book, which gave him plenty of insight into what he describes as the Kochs’ fixation on dismantling public education. In a recent episode of the Have You Heard podcast with Jennifer Berkshire and Jack Schneider, Leonard was blunt about what the Kochs are after. “The ultimate goal is to dismantle the public education system entirely and replace it with a privately run education system. ” Leonard says don’t be fooled by the Koch’s sales pitch (like the Koch Network’s latest education venture, Yes…

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Posted by on October 9, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Greater Test Scores Often Mean Less Authentic Learning

Greater Test Scores Often Mean Less Authentic Learning

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Screen Shot 2019-10-04 at 4.25.32 PM


The main goal of schooling is no longer learning.

It is test scores.

Raising them. Measuring growth. Determining what each score means in terms of future instruction, opportunities, class placement, special education services, funding incentives and punishments, and judging the effectiveness of individual teachers, administrators, buildings and districts.

We’ve become so obsessed with these scores – a set of discrete numbers – that we’ve lost sight of what they always were supposed to be about in the first place – learning.

In fact, properly understood, that’s the mission of the public school system – to promote the acquisition of knowledge and skills. Test scores are just supposed to be tools to help us quantify that learning in meaningful ways.


Somewhere along the line we’ve misconstrued the tool for the goal. And when you do that, it should come as no surprise that you achieve the goal…

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Posted by on October 5, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Michael Kohlhaas: The California Charter School Association’s Secret, Reprehensible Goals

If you want to understand this powerful lobbying group, which spends millions of dollars every year to protect the charter industry and to block accountability and transparency, you have to read the post.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Last June, blogger Michael Kohlhaas received a huge trove of documents from the Green Dot Charter Chain in response to his request filed under the state’s Public Record Act. He has been reviewing these documents and releasing them.

In this post, he summarizes a Powerpoint presentation (and provides a link to the actual document) in which the California Charter Schools Association lays out its goals.

He headlines the post:

A SECRET POWERPOINT FROM THE CALIFORNIA CHARTER SCHOOLS ASSOCIATION REVEALS 2019 LOBBYING PRIORITIES AND STRATEGIES — IN PARTICULAR THEY CONSIDER POSITIONING THEMSELVES AS CHAMPIONS OF EQUITY AND EQUALITY BUT WORRY THAT THEIR SUPPORTERS MIGHT SEE THAT AS “MISSION CREEP” — THEY CONSIDER SUPPORTING EQUAL ACCESS TO HIGH QUALITY SCHOOLS BUT WORRY THAT SUCH A POSITION MIGHT ALIENATE THE “CHOICE WING” OF THEIR BASE — THEY LIST AMONG THE GREATEST THREATS THE BARE POSSIBILITY THAT CHARTER SCHOOLS MIGHT BE REQUIRED TO EARTHQUAKE…

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Posted by on October 1, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Bob Shepherd: The Decline of Education Publishing

The dumbing down of America and the destruction of its public schools was built on a foundation of profits over quality.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Bob Shepherd, polymath, wrote this:

When I started to work in educational publishing, many years ago, there were some two hundred or so companies dividing up the textbook market in the United States and about twenty with significant market share. Now there are four.

Four.

Over the decades, there has been considerable consolidation of the industry. There were many, many mergers and acquisitions. And while this was happening, something else, more insidious, was occurring.

Most of those small publishing companies had been run by people who had started out in education, had entered educational publishing, and had risen through the ranks as editors. Some were started by editors or teachers turned entrepreneurs. But as the companies grew, often via acquisition by outside entities with no background or expertise in education, the old editorial managers were replaced by financial types.

Let me give you an example. Years ago, two publishing guys…

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Posted by on September 29, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Jan Resseger: School Grades Accurately Measure Poverty, Not School Quality

It is the poverty, STUPID Betsy the Brainless DeVos.

Diane Ravitch's blog

During the Clinton presidential campaign, Bill Clinton’s staff used this phrase: “It’s the economy, stupid.”

In current discussions about education, the phrase should be, “It’s poverty, stupid.”

Jan Resseger demonstrates how precisely Ohio’s school grades measure poverty, not school quality. 

She begins:

On Tuesday, the Cleveland Plain Dealer published a stunning analysis, by the newspaper’s data analyst Rich Exner, of the school district grades awarded by the state of Ohio on the state report cards released last week.  The new report cards are based on data from the 2018-2019 school year.  I encourage you to follow the link to look at Exner’s series of bar graphs, which, like this one, present a series of almost perfect downward staircases, with “A” grades for school districts in communities with high median income and “F” grades for the school districts in Ohio’s poorest communities.

The correlation of academic achievement with family…

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Posted by on September 26, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Tom Ultican: Relay “Graduate School of Education” is a “MarketWorld” Fraud

Diane Ravitch's blog

Tom Ultican, a former teacher of physics and advanced mathematics in California, is diligently analyzing the tentacles of the Corporate Reform Movement, which he calls the Destroy Oublic Education Movement.

Relay Graduate School: a Slick “MarketWorld” Education Fraud

In this post, he scrutinizes the Relay “Graduate School of Education,” a program run by the charter industry to give master’s degrees to charter teachers who have mastered the arcane arts of no-excuses discipline and test-score raising.

You must read the entire post. It is carefully documented and chilling. He names the key players, the funders, and gives powerful insight  the emptiness of the program.

He begins:

Relay Graduate School of Education is a private stand alone graduate school created and led by people with meager academic credentials. Founded by leaders from the charter school industry, it is lavishly financed by billionaires. Contending that traditional university based teacher education has failed; Relay prescribes deregulation…

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Posted by on September 20, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

Nevada: Vouchers and the Definition of Insanity

Diane Ravitch's blog

The definition of insanity: funding an experimental education program, discovering that it failed, then funding it some more and expecting different results.

Another definition of insanity: funding a voucher program that depresses student achievement, then demanding more voucher funds so more students can fall behind.

Why fund failure?

Despite Poor Academic Results Groups Sue to Grow Private School Voucher Program

A few weeks ago a pro-school privatization organization, Institute for Justice, announced a lawsuit against the State of Nevada over the impact of AB 458 to private school vouchers recipients, scholarship granting organizations and businesses receiving tax incentives.

Though pro-voucher advocates are framing the suit as “saving vouchers,” in reality, the voucher program did not lose funding. The controversy over some students losing their scholarships is actually the result of a single scholarship granting organization interpreting a law passed this legislative session (AB 458) differently than all other scholarship organizations…

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Posted by on September 19, 2019 in Uncategorized