Sunday, November 23, 2008
Here is a most stunning principle of the school the Obama children and
Biden grandchildren will be attending:
(from Wikipedia) The school does not rank its students, as this conflicts
with the Quaker Testimony of Equality.
What? Not ranking students??? No winners or losers? No AYP? Where is the accountability in that?
Perhaps there are other ways of identifying educational accomplishment? You wouldn't think so if you listened to President-elect Obama speak
about public education.
Like Stager, I voted for Obama (gladly) but with an ache in my heart all the same. He seems to see only dimly if at all how deceptively Orwellian the big-business driven standards and accountability movement is. He wants to "fix" rather than expose the No Child Left Behind Act for the outrage that it really is, a law replete with absurdities and hypocrisies, a law that rests entirely on a bed of false assumptions and false premises. A law under which thousands of public schools have falsely been labeled failing so that unproven "market solutions" can kick in, punitive solutions which have funneled billions to corporate interests. He is not connecting the dots between disaster capitalism and the relentless attacks on public education, attacks cunningly framed in the language of civil rights.
Forgive the rant but one more thing before I finish this post. It appears that Obama is a fan of charter schools. In my book, charter schools that are publicly funded but run by business interests are NOT public schools. They are yet another form of corporate socialism and control of the masses by the wealthy elite.
How is it that we have a need for alternatives and "choice" where freedom and innovation are hailed and encouraged while our truly public schools have been held under the thumb of the most suffocating, oppressive, and punitive law imaginable, a law which guarantees their failure?
One of the tactics of those who seek the destruction of public education is to call our public schools "government schools". Ah yes...and just WHO is controlling our government? Corporations! There is no more zealous supporter of NCLB and high-stakes testing than the Business Roundtable. Government is not the problem when we have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. And a well-informed citizenry as opposed to a citizenry misinformed by the corporate-owned and controlled media.
Monday, November 17, 2008
"These results are astounding," said officials. "Academic achievement actually falls along a continuum, like other human attributes."
Asked to comment, Spellings said, "I'm not into playing numbers games. Not once in all my travels have I met a parent who didn't want their child on grade level now—let alone by 2014. I know I do, and I'm sure every parent in the nation agrees."
In an entirely separate but equally compelling study on merit pay, researchers found that in the area of public education, a majority of highly paid politicians do not know what they are talking about. While the disastrous policymaking that results does not affect their pay, the consequences for children, teachers, and schools are devastating. More about merit pay to follow...
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Mayor Adrian M. Fenty and Schools Chancellor Michelle A.Rhee are discussing a dramatic expansion of their effort to remove ineffective teachers by restoring the District's power to create nonunionized charter schools and seeking federal legislation declaring the school system in a "state of emergency," a move that would eliminate the need to bargain with the Washington Teachers' Union.
About that STATE OF EMERGENCY dear Rhee and Fenty:
Indeed there is one! When the ed reform bigwigs who posture as messiahs for poor children while wagging fingers of blame at teachers and public education say it's time for the nation to declare a "state of emergency" about the condition of childhood itself among our nation's millions of children living in poverty, living amid violence, abuse, and neglect, living without adequate health care, then we may finally get some "reforms" that will make a difference in the lives of children.
A reminder that our nation is number one in childhood poverty among the wealthy nations and next to last in overall child well-being.
You say poverty is no excuse. No, it isn't. It's a grinding reality.
Monday, November 10, 2008
With a new administration soon to take the helm, now seems the perfect time to re-introduce it:
No Corporate Fat Cat Left Behind
It is proposed that in keeping with the 99.9% pure, bright line principles of NCLB accountability and transparency, the nation's primary beneficiaries of NCLB and high-stakes testing be administered the newly-crafted, teacher-constructed F-CATT (Fat Cat Test). All items on the F-CATT have been designed to be able to detect disingenuous responses, deception and/or incompetence by measuring individual responses against results of the NAEP-E, National Assessment of Ethical Practices in Education, to arrive at the test-taker's UMI, or Ulterior Motives Index. Conservative estimates are that at least 90% of test-takers will fail to demonstrate AEP, Adequate Ethical Practices, in the arena of public education reform.
Sister assessments to the F-CATT are under construction for politicians as well as the leading members of a highly networked web of corporate-funded, anti-public education propaganda machines, also known as think tanks. It is anticipated that the POTTY, Politicians and Opportunists Tempted by Testing Yardstick, will be ready for administration by spring 2009. The T-TIA, Tinkle Tank Incontinence Assessment, is being developed to diagnose an irresistible urge to eliminate public education through ideology masquerading as educational research.
Test takers can relax since no sanctions will be imposed for failure to make AEP. The test results will be reward enough for our nation's besieged public schools.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
The Secret Service warned the Obama family in mid October that they had seen a dramatic increase in the number of threats against the Democratic candidate, coinciding with Mrs. Palin's attacks.I'm not posting this to fuel anger at Palin. The threat will be there with or without her irresponsible and inexcusable remarks linking Obama to terrorism. I'm posting this with the hope that if you are a praying person, you'll keep Obama and his family and our entire nation in your prayers.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings escaped serious injury today when the seat of her pants caught fire without any apparent source of ignition. The incident occurred in her office just minutes after she had addressed the House Committee on Labor and Education with this oft-repeated statement:
Over the last five years, NAEP testing demonstrates that 9-year-olds in the
United States have made more progress in reading than in the previous three
decades combined. Achievement gaps between white and black students in reading
and math are now the narrowest they have ever been.
I talk about No Child Left Behind like Ivory soap: It’s 99.9 percent pure
or something. There’s not much needed in the way of change.
newsspoof by staff at This Little Blog
Saturday, November 1, 2008
Just a couple of intriguing statements from Marion:
"Covering the content" – Forget this too. It hasn’t been possible since the
Enlightenment, and the assumption that it should be done (or at least attempted)
is naive and destructive. It’s best to see it for what it is–dynamic, constantly
changing, never equally appropriate for all students, and with the possible
exception of a tiny fraction of it, not worth storing in memory. Choose from it
what helps explain and elaborate the sense-making process. That process is the
Pacing – The whole idea of a "pacing guide" is ridiculous, a futile attempt
to standardize the unstandardizable. If you’re trying to help learners
understand something really important, there’s no point in moving on to a second
idea until they understand the first, even if that takes days, weeks, months. IS
tries to lay out the whole of the "liberal education" ball of wax, so don’t rush
it. Take as long as it takes.
Just keep an open mind, ponder the possibilities of what education could be, and enjoy a breath of fresh air...
Thank you Marion.