jonathan lovell's blog

a site to explore the difference between meaningful and ill-conceived educational reform (note: you have to open a post for its links to be activated)

Archive for April 2014

Arne Duncan: a terrific basketball payer but a disastrous Secretary of Education

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:
John Thompson raises a provocative and important question: who is inflicting more damage on teachers and students? Tea Party extremists like North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory or Secretary of Education Arne Duncan? Thompson, a teacher and historian, describes the assault on teachers in North Carolina, whose governor and Legislature seem determined to destroy public education by expanding vouchers and charters and to dismantle…

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the push-back against Arne Duncan’s power grab begins

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:
Washington State thoughtfully rejected Arne Duncan’s threat to cancel its waiver from the absurd demands of No Child Left Behind. The decision to say no to federal demands and intimidation was bipartisan. The Legislature refused to bend to Duncan’s insistence that the state adopt test-based evaluation, which has consistently failed across the nation and has been declared inaccurate by the nation’s leading scholarly…

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“creative disruption” and educational reform

the power of naming

Readers of this blog will not be surprised to learn that there is an intent behind the large numbers of students who will be deemed “below proficient” or “well below proficient” when the results of the spring 2015 CCSS tests are announced next fall. As Jeb Bush said last August: “There will be a painful adjustment period as schools and students adapt to higher expectations. Just look at the results […]

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This video was produced by an organization called The Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, with managing director Ralph Smith. I heard Smith speak, and saw this video, at the NBPTS Conference on Teaching and Learning in Washington DC in mid-March of this year. I would recommend showing this very short video (which can be found on YouTube by entering “The Statisticks Lottery”) to any parent, school administrator, politician, or ed-tech entrepreneur who makes the absurd claim that three excellent teachers in a row will overcome the effects of poverty on student achievement. The best response to such nauseating assertions about ‘fixing’ public education, of course, is that most effective way to reverse the effects of poverty is to demand a living minimum wage and actively lobby for a reverse of the national tax policies that got us here in the first place.

the connection between poverty and school achievement memorably displayed

gathering at the ed-tech feeding trough

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:
Starting today, the nation’s leading entrepreneurs will gather for their annual conference at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Arizona, to exchange ideas about the ongoing monetization, privatization, innovation, and profits in the education “industry.” This summit was originally organized by Michael Moe, who has for years predicted that the education sector could be monetized. He was right. His company—GSV stands for Global Silicon…

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Why Doesn’t the New York Times Understand the Controversy Over Common Core?

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:
In story after story, the New York Times consistently misses the essence of the controversy surrounding Common Core. ? Today’s New York Times gives its lead article on page 1, column right, top of the fold, to the battle raging within the Republican party, about the Common Core. On one side is Jeb Bush, standing up for the Common Core standards (presumably a…

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Who Are the Koch Brothers and What Do They Want?

Here’s an important and insightful article from Thursday’s Huffington Post by the altogether admirable and seemingly indefatiguable Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.   As a result of the disastrous Citizens United Supreme Court decision, billionaires and large corporations can now spend an unlimited amount of money to influence the political process. The results of that decision are clear. In the coming months and years the Koch brothers and other extraordinarily […]

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A response to David Brooks’ op-ed on the “clowns” opposing CC standards

Originally posted on deutsch29:
Why newspapers hire individuals to regularly offer the public unsubstantiated opinions baffles me. I am a researcher. Unless my posts are grounded in my personal experience, I offer my readers links to document my position on matters about which I write. David Brooks is an opinion writer. He publishes his opinions regularly in the New York Times (NYT) and has done so since 2003. Brooks is not a teacher.…

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Another great short animated video, this one all of 3 min 33 sec, by the indefatigable Robert Reich. There is no more important thing we can all do to “raise student achievement” in our schools than to keep our individual and collective focus on the obscene levels of income inequality we have allowed our great nation to not only tolerate, but accept as “the way things are.” Now is the time to remember the transforming influence of Charles Dickens in England, and Teddy Roosevelt in the US, and to believe that we can be similarly transformative in our own day. See here for an extended discussion of income inequality and student achievement.

Something everyone should know on tax day

Mr. Gradgrind and the Common Core ELA Standards

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:
Joanne Yatvin, who served for many years as a teacher and principal in Oregon, is a literacy expert. She here expresses her view of the Common Core English Language Arts standards. ? What the Dickens is Education All About? Did you know that Charles Dickens denounced the Common Core Standards more than 150 years ago and didn’t think much of the value of…

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