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Sandra Stotsky on the mediocrity of the Common Core ELA standards

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Parents have deep concerns about the Common Core standards and their associated assessments, signed onto by 43 states and the District of Columbia.  They have been adopted and developed in a rushed manner, because of pressure from the Gates Foundation and the US Department of Education, which threatened to withhold “Race to the Top” grants from any state which did not promise to adopt them. These standards and their assessments are likely to cost states and districts tens of billions …

More clap trap from CAP on class size reduction

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Last week, the Center for American Progress released a report by Matthew Chingos, who previously wrote a highly-flawed critique of Florida’s class size reduction program.  (See my recent debate with Chingos on CNN.) CAP has put out a series of crude reports posing as educational research, but this must be one of the least impressive.  Despite its title, “The False Promise of Class-Size Reduction,” lowering class size is only one of K-12 four reforms that, according to the Institute of …

The True Legacy of Seattle’s Fired (Broad Academy) Superintendent

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Originally posted in  seattleducation2011 For the Record… It looks like the Broad Foundation is actively trying to whitewash the history of their Superintendent Academy graduate, Maria Goodloe-Johnson, who was fired by the Seattle School Board earlier this month along with her handpicked CFO, Don Kennedy, for her failure to address a rampant case of fraud happening within the district’s central office. The District Administration magazine web site has  published a defense of Goodloe-Johnson written by Tom Payzant (dutifully echoed by …

On School Reform, Call Off the Bushes!

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Reprinted from the John Young’s blog. Oh, lord, deliver our school children from the Bush brothers. Their dad was famously described by Ann Richards as “born on third base, and thinks he’s a triple.” That was a might harsh. But let’s face it. For George W. to have stepped forward as the answer to public schools’ every question — that stretched a double out of a dribbler. Unfortunately, tragically, his answers for the nation’s schools remain the end of every …

The Myth of “Choice” in New Orleans by Karran Harper Royal

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In recent days, as John White has been appointed the new head of the New Orleans Recovery School District, there has been much written about how NOLA schools have created unprecedented “choice” for parents. Here what Karran Harper Royal, founding member of Parents Across America – New Orleans, believes about the question of “choice”.  See also the response from a NOLA parent below. Recently, the Times Picayune published a story that said “most charter schools outperform traditional schools.” The traditional …

Obama and Duncan on South Korea: What can they be thinking?

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South Korean students get high marks on the international competitions like the PISAs.  In his State of the Union speech, President Obama said we should emulate its educational system.  Arne Duncan has repeatedly extolled South Korea as well,arguing that  parents in the United States should demand the same sort of excellence that Korean parents demand of their children. In several speeches,  he has repeated the story about how Obama asked the President of South Korea “”What is the biggest education …

John White, the next Superintendent of New Orleans?

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UPDATE: his appointment was just announced; see Times-Picayune, with quotes from MBP Stringer, Irene Kaufman and me. My condolences to New Orleans. John White, NYC Deputy Chancellor, is reportedly being considered as the next Superintendent of New Orleans schools. White led the DOE’s efforts to expand charters, and to co-locate them in already existing schools. He is also a former TFA-er, and a graduate of the Broad Superintendent Academy, which has trained countless controversial superintendents, including many that have received …

A refresher course in how Arne Duncan failed in Chicago

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by Dora Taylor For Arne Duncan’s record, I  would recommend going through Catalyst’s In-Depth report of his Renaissance 2010, the plan that he rolled out as CEO of the Chicago Public School system. He heralded his plan as a success and his appointment to Secretary of Education was based on this so-called “success”. He then took that model of Renaissance 2010 and projected it onto school districts around the country, re-titling it “Race to the Top”. The results of this …

What's happened in Florida in the past three weeks; read it and weep!

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by Rita Solnet As promised, here’s what happened in the past three, sad, never-to-be-forgotten weeks in Florida as it relates to public education. SB 736 ENACTED: 1)  Teachers will have 50% of their evaluations based on student’s standardized test scores (FCATs). This is effective immediately and impacts every teacher.  Anyone who does not teach Reading or Math will receive a score based upon a calculation of all the teachers.  So, to be clear,  teacher’s salaries, their ability to be re-hired for one more year, …

Sign our petition to Congress against education cuts now!

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In states and districts all over the country, public school budgets are being slashed to the bone, and class sizes have increased at unprecedented rates, despite the fact that smaller classes have been shown to improve outcomes for all students, particularly our neediest children. Meanwhile, the US House of Representatives has proposed cutting federal aid to education by nearly $11 billion, which would lead to even larger classes, hurt millions of students, and cause the layoffs of more teachers and …