Saturday, May 12, 2012

Education Issues 2012 #4

Corporate Reform, Parent Trigger, Wisconsin, IREAD, Testing, Testing Errors, Charters, Lies About US Education.

(Click on the titles below to read the complete articles.)

Connecticut and Alabama deal blows to Michelle Rhee-style corporate education reform
There's good news for public education in Alabama and Connecticut, as the Michelle Rhee breed of privatizers and corporate reformers were thwarted in both states, at least partially and at least for now. In Alabama, "a radical, far-reaching charter bill that would have allowed wholesale privatization of public education in the state" was declared dead in the state House for the session just ending. And in Connecticut, legislators fought Gov. Dannel Malloy's initial, teacher-scapegoating plan and gave teachers unions a voice in arriving at a compromise.

Beware! ‘Parent trigger’ misinformation coming to a theater near you
With the September release of Won’t Back Down, Tinseltown is stepping in where corporate mouthpieces, for-profit education companies, ill-informed politicians and pseudo-education reformers have been coming up short, most recently in Florida.

Starring an Oscar winner and two Oscar nominees, the movie, hope corporate education reformers and privatizers, will lend legitimacy to a movement that has generated bitter feelings and turned schools and communities against one another.

In film, Walker talks of 'divide and conquer' union strategy
"Well, we're going to start in a couple weeks with our budget adjustment bill," Walker said. "The first step is we're going to deal with collective bargaining for all public employee unions, because you use divide and conquer."

Senator agrees: Indiana education board overreached with reading retention rule
Sen. Luke Kenley has affirmed that Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett and the Indiana State Board of Education went beyond the bounds of state law when they adopted a rule that requires third-graders to pass a reading test or face grade-level retention.

Student video: How high-stakes tests affect kids
There is one voice rarely heard in the screaming debate about the role of high-stakes tests in education: that of students.

Though the big focus today in education is on evaluating teachers and whether student standardized test results should be a part of educator assessment (they shouldn’t), there is no group more affected by high stakes on these exams than the people who have to take them. Results from a single test can determine whether a student moves up a grade or graduates from high school.

Corrupt, Unethical, Inept: Boycott Pearson
Almost 30 different test questions have now been declared invalid because they're confusing or have outright errors. And now Pearson Publishing is scrambling to explain what went wrong and how it's going to fix things.

The Nation’s Largest Charter Chain
There are legitimate questions to be raised about public dollars funding schools that are tied to a cleric, as well as questions about a charter chain that has close ties with another nation.

Report: Some charters spend more than traditional schools
For example, KIPP, Achievement First and Uncommon Schools in New York City, spend between $2,000 to $4,300 more per student than public schools. High-profile charter network schools outspend district schools in Texas, too — for example, KIPP spends around 30 to 50 percent more in some cities — but not in Ohio. The highly regarded KIPP charter network, the report says, is the one that spends more than neighboring traditional districts, though the amount varies by grade and place.

The conclusion contradicts, at least in some cases, one of the common assertions made by charter supporters: That they deliver a better education to the same profile of children for less money than traditional public schools.

Telling Lies About US Education
....this description of U.S. Education is a pack of lies that smears our nation. I wonder if the people who created this website went to fancy prep schools and looked down their noses at those of us who went to public school. They seem so eager to put down American schools, which educated 90% of us, and by implication, put down the United States. it makes one wonder who they are. Too bad they didn’t take responsibility and put their names on their work so we would know who they are.

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