The answer to problems in education lies in fixing the opportunity gap, not the achievement gap.
Click on this Perspectives on Ed in America to see the Sandia National Laboratory Report in its entirety.
The answer to problems in education lies in fixing the opportunity gap, not the achievement gap.
Click on this Perspectives on Ed in America to see the Sandia National Laboratory Report in its entirety.
Welcome to Part 2 of The War Report’s Back to the Future Series on the Common Core. In this episode, Dr. Deborah Owens will answer questions from our previous blog and address what she calls “the gorilla in the room.” The following is Dr. Owen’s synopsis of the upcoming show:
By Deborah Owens
The Common Core represents the “gorilla in the room.” This gorilla has further facilitated a raft of pro-corporate education reform initiatives that support charter schools, Teach for America, Draconian high stakes testing, VAM models for teacher accountability, and data mining of students’ personal and academic information — each of which lines the pockets of Wall Street entrepreneurs at the expense of our locally controlled public schools and, most importantly, our nation’s most precious resource, our children.
Click the link below to listen to why Dr. Owens calls Common Core the Gorilla in the Room:
The following excerpts from The Origins… illustrate the third way of governance as it was developing in the 1990s.
In a first-rate example of how the corporations began their full-out assault on public education, here’s a quote from former IBM corporate superstar Lou Gerstner — the corporate superstar who sponsored the Palisades conference of corporate and gubernatorial CEOs that birthed ACHIEVE — in his opening remarks at the 1995 National Governors Association (NGA) meeting where Gerstner was an honored guest. He said, “I’m here because of Willie Sutton. Willie Sutton robbed banks, the story goes, because he realized that’s where the money is. I’m here because this is where the power is – the power to reform – no, to revolutionize – the US public school system.” (The Origins of the Common Core, p. 118).
In February 1996, one month before the IBM sponsored Palisades conference, Lehman Brothers sponsored the Education Industry Investment Conference. According to Douglas Dewey, “Conferees were regaled with new opportunities in a $600 billion industry, including preschool, K-12, post-secondary, and training and development.” For Dewey, writing for “The Freeman,” corporate entrepreneurship in the education field held the promise of finally eliminating government from education completely, “as public confidence in government schooling continues its inexorable collapse, and the whiff of billions begins stirring in the air, the savvy investor will focus his attention on the greatest emerging market in decades and treat government schools as just another competitor to blow out of the water.” (from The Origins of the Common Core, p. 129)
In summary, this series will suggest ways for all Americans who support their locally controlled schools to unite in efforts to reclaim the sacred ground of our democratic and locally controlled public schools. The conclusion of the first two programs will set the tone for the third part of the series in which diverse forces, which are heroically challenging corporate education reformers and their governmental allies, engage in collaborative discussion that will unite and energize America in its efforts to marshal a unified front to reclaim America’s democratic locally controlled public schools.
To learn more and read a complete Bio about Dr. Owens, please visit her website Public Schools Central for up-to-date information on the Common Core and the Corporate Ed Reform Agenda. Here is the link for the BBS Live Radio Show and Former and Future Podcasts: The War Report on Public Education Here is the link to The War Report Facebook Page: The War Report on Public Education Facebook Group Twitter: @WarRepPubEd
Here is the podcast link from last week’s show: How did Anti-public School Corporate Reformers become the Dominant Force in Education Reform? Hosted by Dr. James Avington Miller, Jr and Special Guest Dr. Deborah Owens. This is the first in a three or four part series based on Dr. Owen’s book. If you missed last week’s show please listen to the podcast, read the summary from the blog, and then leave feedback in the blog comments section. Thank you!
Please join Deb Owens and James Avington Miller Jr. this Sunday, April 5, 2015 to discuss the Willie Sutton-like takeover of public education in America.
War Report Team
Reporting from the Front Lines
Boots on the Ground
TN Professor Joe Nashville, who previously published a satirical review of the former Commissioner of Tn Ed ( Kevin “Michelle Rhee” Huffman ) via Edushyster called Tennessee’s Fool of Merit, is back with gaffs and laughs to expose the faux rhetoric of Pearson Publishing. Recently, Professor Nashville received this missive from a Pearson Publishing Sales Rep. In a fit of pique and witty inspiration, he revised the letter to reflect the true message hidden in the, er, rhetorical spin that is Pearson Publishing’s calling card. Read and Enjoy!
Click on the links to make them larger, then use your handy dandy magnifying glass to zoom in.
Blogger’s Disclaimer: I am a Literature teacher, not a journalist. What you get is what you get. Want better blogging, read a real journalist.
by Dr. James Avington Miller, Jr
The War on Public Ed, schools, teachers, students, parents/families/cities is raging on all fronts. They, the Corporate State Elite and their Machiavellian Agenda, are Winning. Years of planning, preparing, and a war chest that is in the billions/trillions if need, they are all but assured of victory. For them its just a matter of time before they can stand on the deck of another air craft carrier and declare victory ( like Bush II did ). The resistance was slow to recognize they/we were being warred upon. When we awaken to reality, it was almost too late. Now, we are slowly awakening and resisting. The only issue/question that remains: Can We Snatch Defeat From the Jaws of Victory? – Dr. James Avington Miller Jr.
The War Report on Public Education
Dr. James Avington Miller Jr. and The War Report on Public Education radio show begin a series exposing the dangers of the Common Core. Joining us for this series is Dr. Deborah Duncan Owens. Here is a short taste of what is in store for our listeners:
Are you angry enough yet? How long will the American public tolerate the steady encroachment of corporations into public education? In the first of a series of shows dedicated to the Common Core and the corporate takeover of our public schools, Deborah Duncan Owens will discuss the decades long assault against public education in the United States and the origins of the Common Core State Standards. Our students are over tested, exploited for profit, and victims of spying by corporate and governmental entities. It’s time to say no to the free market ideology driving our education policies in the U.S. and reclaim the sacred ground of public education as an essential democratic institution.
There is a price on the head of every child in America! When did greed become the underlying motive in efforts to systemically reform public education in America? How can we reclaim our public schools and say no to the corporate takeover of education? Deborah Duncan Owens pulls back the curtain that has shrouded the American public from the collusion of the political right and left with corporate America that has been plotting a course to privatize our nation’s public school system.
Join us in a conversation about taking back the sacred ground of public education in America. It’s time to set up a war room and establish a unified plan to end the incursion of corporate America into the lives of our nation’s most precious resource, our children. America’s most vulnerable citizens, those who have no vote or seat at the policy table, are depending on us to put an end to the CCSS debacle, Draconian high stakes testing, and Orwellian student data collecting. United we stand and divided we will fall. It’s time to unite our voices — for the sake of our children and their public schools in America.
Knowledge is power — and the knowledge gained through this series will arm pro-public school advocates with an essential understanding to finally come to grips with the forces that have historically sought to dismantle America’s public school system. Parents and teachers, armed with knowledge about the historical roots of the corporate assault on education, can — through collective action — take back our locally controlled public schools and hold our elected and non-elected governmental policy makers accountable. When parents and students OPT OUT of Draconian high stakes tests that line the pockets of corporate reformers while exploiting the personal information of children, parents and students are OPTING IN to a coalition of Americans intent on preserving our democratic system of public education!
So join us this Sunday, March 29th, as we begin our series on the Common Core Today – Back to the Future.
Click on the website below to listen live and join the discussion:
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Station 1 – 888-627-6008
Part 1 here:
Podcast from this Sunday’s show – March 22- on Pearson and SpyGate Part 2-
This article was originally posted as a FB reply, then as a personal note, then as a blog on With a Brooklyn Accent,
AND NOW FINALLY- the place it all started: The War Report FB group post:
Jamaal Bowman was responding to this question posted in the War Report on Public Education Group after the internet radio show on the School to Prison Pipeline.
What do you think?
Charter schools are the best thing that has happened to public schools because they have forced public schools to “wake up” and for public school teachers to begin teaching better, due to the competition brought by Charters, than they have in previous years.
Please discuss – this was a topic raised in a group message after the School to Prison Pipeline show:
Podcast link for the Show from Sunday:
By Jamaal Bowman
Good evening. Please allow me to indulge for a moment. First, good schools are good schools. I don’t care what we call them. The most important thing in a child’s life after a parent is a good teacher, coach, or mentor. When I say good schools, I don’t mean schools that simply have good test scores. I’m speaking of schools that get good scores, as well as develop the character and passions of their students toward self actualization.
Allow me to debunk a few charter school myths. I don’t know if this applies to all charter schools but definitely the ones I have some experience with. First let me say that studies show if a parent is savvy and passionate about education, regardless of race, class, or educational background, their child is more likely to graduate high school and college. Charters (at least the ones I have experience with), make sure that parents prove how serious they are before even giving their child a chance of getting in. For example, one charter that I know, mandates (not using this word lightly), that parents attend 5-6 meetings before even entertaining the possibility of the child making it to the lottery. These are obviously parents that value education in the home. If parents miss one meeting, no lottery. On the other hand, district schools have to take everyone. The savvy parent AND the struggling parent without meeting mandates. A parent can go through an entire school year without attending a meeting and the child is guaranteed a spot in a district school.
Further, in case you didn’t know, parents also sign contracts in many charters to ensure homework is done, meetings are attended, and certain behavioral execrations are met. If the parent or child breaks the contract, the child can be kicked out of school. I know. I’ve seen it done while “interning” at a charter school.
Lastly, charters can fire teachers and have extremely high turnover rates. From my conversations and observations of charter schools, I’ve heard many of the policies and procedures be called “inhumane.” This could be why so many teachers can’t last anymore than two or three years in many charters. Ironically, these charters serve as a perfect pipeline for TFA –mocking two year commitment.
Based on what I know, as they are currently constituted, charters, TFA, and yearly standardized testing are wrong for our high need communities. We should stop funding them all unless they agree to make major adjustments to how they do business. Why? Because that money can be spent on giving all students a quality holistic education. Charters, TFA, and yearly testing infuse anxiety, disunity, and even worst, standardization into the psyche of society. They are trying to recreate a 21st century idea of “empire.” Keep the masses, and “lower class” under control while the elite continue to rule. A standardized mindset will always be controlled. Whereas in schools like Riverdale Country School, there are not state standardized assessment, no TFA and no need for a charter, and they are taught to lead and change the world.
Consider KIPP’S first graduating class. Ranked fifth in NYC in mathematics in the 8th grade, but only 21% graduated college. Why? Because KIPP test prepped the kids to death and the kids never built their character or learned to manage their own freedom. KIPP and many charters standardize and try to control everything from how kids walk through the halls to how they ask to go to the bathroom. But teaching and learning is organic; it is human. When are we gonna ask ourselves why must poor communities of color be treated like this, whereas middle class and upper class parents would NEVER go for this treatment!
WE HAVE TO hold politicians and private citizens who invest in education accountable to the true needs of our at-risk communities. We must give our communities a true voice. If charters, TFA, and the state really cared about our children being their very best, show us, by investing in daycare, Montessori, music, sports, counselors and everything in between. Charters should take all children and TFA should change everything! If not, the powers that be will continue to fatten up the district school kids to be slaughtered and fed to their private school bosses as adults.
For the rest we have jail cells waiting for them. #wemustunite
Join Tanaisa Brown and the Newark Student Union as they Occupy the Office of Cami Anderson. These students are brave and really know how to take on the elusive Cami.
CALL TO ACTION: ALL NEWARK STUDENTS, TEACHERS, PARENTS, AND FELLOW COMMUNITY MEMBERS THAT STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH US AGAINST THE PRIVATIZATION OF OUR SCHOOL SYSTEM… COME OUT TOMORROW MORNING TO 2 CEDAR STREET. WE ASK THAT THE COMMUNITY COMES OUT AND WELCOMES CAMI ANDERSON WITH OPEN ARMS!
THERE WILL BE A PRESS CONFERENCE AS WELL (TIME NOT SPECIFIED YET). LETS SHOW THE REST OF THE WORLD THAT NEWARK IS UNITED AND STANDING STRONGER THAN EVER!
STUDENTS: GET YOUR FRIENDS!
PARENTS: STAND WITH YOUR CHILDREN!
TEACHERS: THIS IS YOUR FIGHT TOO!
Watch Live Stream Here:
Newark Student Union FB here:
Email: The Newark Student Union: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Wayne Jebian
Arnie Duncan and the United States Department of Education appear to be sold on the concept of VAM (value added model), so much so that they are taking the concept to the next level. The idea behind VAM is to crunch students’ standardized test scores to separate “good” from “bad” teachers.
In public debate, VAM is often discussed in the context of fixing failing schools and raising individual student achievement. However, if Education Secretary Arnie Duncan has his way, the use of VAM will mean that elementary school students will also be deciding issues of federal funding for graduate and professional teaching programs. The stakes in high stakes testing are about to get a whole lot higher.
The DoED released its proposed new rules for teacher preparation programs on December 3, 2014. The public was given until January 2, 2015 to comment on fiscal aspects of the new rules, and until February 2nd to comment on issues of substance. The timing of the document is one of its major problems. The brevity of the comment period, plus the fact that it straddled final exams, Christmas, Hanukah, customary vacation periods, New Years, the beginning of school, and the Super Bowl, strongly suggest that it was engineered to minimize actual public comment.
The second and larger problem is that the new rules’ reliance on bad science eclipses any legitimate concern about bad teachers. Test scores are affected by many factors, and there are many influences more important than the individual teacher, such as the family situations of the students and the general income level of their neighborhood. The use of VAM could be seen as a disincentive to work in a poor neighborhood for the individual student of education when seeking work. However, the new rules also invite a whole host of consequences.
Now, a college or university’s professional education program or school of education will be graded according to these same VAM statistics derived from school kids’ test scores. If these rules are implemented, in addition to being responsible for their teachers’ job security, the children will be determining the eligibility of graduate schools to receive federal TEACH grant money. If student VAM statistics reveal that a school of education is producing “bad teachers”, then under the new rules, it can be cut off. According to the report, “These proposed regulations would limit TEACH Grant eligibility to only those programs that States have identified as ‘effective’ or higher.”
The American Statistical Association has warned against an over-reliance on VAM for educational policy. The many shortcomings noted by the ASA include the following: “VAMs are generally based on standardized test scores, and do not directly measure potential teacher contributions toward other student outcomes.”
But Secretary Duncan appears not to have received the memo. With VAM the central instrument in assessing the quality of teachers, and now, the schools that educated them, test scores will be a crucial factor in the mandate that the new rules lay out: “Establish the required areas States must consider in identifying low-performing and at-risk teacher preparation programs, the actions States must take with respect to those programs, and the consequences for a low-performing program that loses State approval or financial support.”
What’s at stake is an unprecedented level of federal involvement in higher education. What is described is the possible takeover or elimination of teacher education programs, just as is happening with public schools in urban districts. Those are some very high stakes, resting on the backs of young students’ test scores. And in all likelihood, the federally-driven reform machine’s encroachment into higher education will not end there.
By Leslie Oxedine Kelley
I have worked in Title I schools my entire career. I too have kept a clothes closet and a drawer full of personal hygiene products and another of school supplies. I had two marvelous principals before this age of ladder climbing, politically correct sheep. One man took money from his own pocket to send the PE teacher shoe shopping for a family of six kids (on school time no less). The other gentleman gave a mother his own money to take her kids to the doctor. These same men never said more to me than, “you are doing a great job”, “There’s been a little problem and you need to fix it.” and, “I hired you as a professional. Handle it”. Those are quotes I recall more than 20 years later. Those were my first two public school jobs. I was so spoiled by their support that after them I struggled with the new breed of administrator. How I missed them, as did everyone else.
Dr. Jay Arnold passed away after many of us had moved on. His funeral was like a family reunion. We got so loud greeting and loving one another after years apart, then crying for our loss, that the funeral home attendants asked us to go outside. About 40 people went out. Dr Arnold (and Harry Fuller before him) fostered that love by setting the tone in our buildings. Both men treated the faculty and students with genuine concern for our well being. They cared about all of us…more than their own career, political correctness or any flippin data. I loved my job then and I would have gone to great lenghths to do anything those men asked of me.
I know there are MANY teachers out there just like this and I hope administrators as well. It has just been my personal experience to have worked for principals who are bound up in the political mess public education has become. I would LOVE to meet the one who says, “to hell with the games. This is what our kids need…regardless of what outsiders think we need.” then hunkers down, unites the community (at least within the schoolhouse), and loves kids again. I understand love doesn’t cure everything, but it sure goes further than this “OMG public education Is failing and it’s all YOUR fault” attitude prevalent today. Just call me old school.
Attacks on our public education system hurt America
Technology is the key to success in the classroom and I will show you how this can be done.
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