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Jeff Bernstein

P. L. Thomas: "No Excuses" and the Culture of Shame: Why Metrics Don't Matter - 0 views

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    "The education reform debate is fueled by a seemingly endless and even fruitless point-counterpoint among the corporate reformers-typically advocates for and from the Gates Foundation (GF), Teach for America (TFA), and charter chains such as Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP)-and educators/scholars of education. Since the political and public machines have embraced the corporate reformers, GF, TFA, and KIPP have acquired the bully pulpit of the debate and thus are afforded most often the ability to frame the point, leaving educators and scholars to be in a constant state of generating counter-points.
    This pattern disproportionately benefits corporate reformers, but it also exposes how those corporate reformers manage to maintain the focus of the debate on data. The statistical thread running through most of the point-counterpoint is not only misleading (the claims coming from the corporate reformers are invariably distorted, while the counter-points of educators and scholars remain ignored among politicians, advocates, the public, and the media), but also a distraction.

    Since the metrics debate (test scores, graduation rates, attrition, populations of students served, causation/correlation) appears both enduring and stagnant, I want to make a clear statement with some elaboration that I reject the "ends-justify-the-means" assumptions and practices-the broader "no excuses" ideology-underneath the numbers, and thus, we must stop focusing on the outcomes of programs endorsed by the GF or TFA and KIPP.

    Instead, we must unmask the racist and classist policies and practices hiding beneath the metrics debate surrounding GF, TFA, and KIPP (as prominent examples of practices all across the country and types of schools)."
Jeff Bernstein

Belling the Cats of Corporate Education Reform in 2011 - Living in Dialogue - Education... - 1 views

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    This year, the gloves came off, as teachers faced unprecedented attacks on our right to collective bargaining, as well as continued attempts to tie our pay and job security to test scores. Some of these attacks were blatant, as in Wisconsin, but most were veiled behind a cloak of rhetoric about education reform. Today I want to review some of the posts that attempted to bell the corporate education reform cat.
Jeff Bernstein

How the Broad virus & Gates infection are hurting Kansas City kids « Parents ... - 0 views

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    Last week at a school board meeting, Kansas City, MO School District superintendent John Covington told the school board that there is no research that supports reduced class size linked to increased student achievement. During the meeting, Covington  cited the views of Bill Gates, who has minimized the importance of class size and suggested that teachers be paid more for teaching larger classes.
Jeff Bernstein

'Class Warfare' - By Steven Brill - Book Review - NYTimes.com - 0 views

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    Steven Brill is a graduate of Yale Law School and the founder of Court TV, and in his new book, "Class Warfare," he brings a sharp legal mind to the world of education reform. Like a dogged prosecutor, he mounts a zealous case against America's teachers' unions. From more than 200 interviews, he collects the testimony of idealistic educators, charter school founders, policy gurus, crusading school superintendents and billionaire philanthropists. Through their vivid vignettes, which he pieces together in short chapters with titles like " 'Colorado Says Half of You Won't Graduate' " and "A Shriek on Park Avenue," Brill conveys the epiphanies, setbacks and triumphs of a national reform movement.
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