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Jeff Bernstein

Resistance to High Stakes Tests Serves the Cause of Equity in Education: A Reply to "We... - 0 views

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    "Today several important civil rights organizations released a statement that is critical of the decision by many parents and students to opt out of high stakes standardized tests. Though we understand the concerns expressed in this statement, we believe high stakes tests are doing more harm than good to the interests of students of color, and for that reason, we respectfully disagree."
Jeff Bernstein

Have We Wasted Over a Decade? | Daniel Katz, Ph.D. - 0 views

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    "A dominant narrative of the past decade and a half of education reform has been to highlight alleged persistent failures of our education system.  While this tale began long ago with the Reagan Administration report A Nation at Risk, it has been put into overdrive in the era of test based accountability that began with the No Child Left Behind Act.  That series of amendments to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act mandated annual standardized testing of all students in grades 3-8 and once in high school, set a target for 100% proficiency for all students in English and mathematics, and imposed consequences for schools and districts that either failed to reach proficiency targets or failed to test all students.  Under the Obama administration, the federal Department of Education has freed states from the most stringent requirements to meet those targets, but in return, states had to commit themselves to specific reforms such as the adoption of common standards, the use of standardized test data in the evaluation of teachers, and the expansion of charter schools.  All of these reforms are predicated on the constantly repeated belief that our citizens at all levels are falling behind international competitors, that our future workforce lacks the skills they will need in the 21st century, and that we have paid insufficient attention to the uneven distribution of equal opportunity in our nation.

    But what if we've gotten the entire thing wrong the whole time?"
Jeff Bernstein

Education is a fundamental human right - which is why private schools must be resisted ... - 0 views

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    "Privatisation of education has a devastating impact, aggravating inequality, so why does the development community fund profit-seeking providers?"
Jeff Bernstein

NYSED Recommends "Teacher Effectiveness Gnomes" to Fix Persistent Inequities | School F... - 0 views

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    "As I've pointed out over, and over and over again on this blog, NY State maintains one of the least equitable educational systems in the nation."
Jeff Bernstein

Is Standardized Testing a Civil Right? | Diane Ravitch's blog - 0 views

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    "The civil rights groups apparently are unaware if the history of standardized testing, and its ties to the eugenics movement. I wrote about that in chapter 4 of "Left Back." Historically, standardized tests were used to deny educational opportunities to under served groups and to re-enforce theories of white supremacy, based on test scores.

    Like school choice, standardized testing was a weapon used by racists to deny civil rights, not a force for civil rights."
Jeff Bernstein

Teacher Turnover At Success Academy Charter Schools | Shanker Institute - 0 views

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    "It also, however, means that roughly one in three SA teachers (32.8 percent) either switched to a different (non-SA) school, in NYC or elsewhere, or exited the teaching profession entirely. This is almost twice the rate of 17 percent provided by SA officials to the New York Times reporter."
Jeff Bernstein

Leon Botstein: Are We Still Making Citizens? - 0 views

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    "Democracy requires a commitment to the public good. But for a long time now, our citizens have been taught to see themselves as only private actors."
Jeff Bernstein

Leonie Haimson: Is the Battle Over School Reform Between Unions and Rich Liberals, or B... - 0 views

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    "Leonie Haimson is fed up with the line that the mainstream media has taken about education controversies. Reporters usually think that every protest is organized by the unions, defending their self-interest, and they are warring with high-minded reformers. She says this is balderdash! (Sorry, Leonie, my word, not yours.)

     

    If parents hold a protest against high-stakes testing and against test-based teacher evaluations (which causes more time to be devoted to testing), most reporters will say the union made them do it, the union doesn't want to be held accountable.

     

    Well, guess what? The unions are not leading the Opt Out movement. Many teachers support it, because they know how pointless the new tests are, but the great majority of people leading the movement are parents. They don't want their children to be pressured by fear of the Big Standardized Test, they don't want them to be ranked and labeled, they don't want them to hate school because of the endless test prep."
Jeff Bernstein

How Does the Public Feel About Vouchers? | Diane Ravitch's blog - 0 views

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    "I was on a panel last year with someone from the Friedman Foundation, and he waxed on about how wonderful vouchers are and how much the public wants them. He cited polls to prove his point.

    But there is only one poll that matters, and that is the one at the ballot box. That's why the information in this post is so helpful. Keep it in your wallet, or just remember this plain fact: voters have never approved a voucher plan."
Jeff Bernstein

The Disaster of Free-Market Reform in Chile: Is This Our Model? | Diane Ravitch's blog - 0 views

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    "Why do we refuse to learn from successful nations? The top ten high-performing nations do not test every child every year.

     

    Why aren't we willing to learn from educational disasters in other nations? Take Chile, for example."
Jeff Bernstein

How Vouchers and Tax Credits Threaten Public Education | Diane Ravitch's blog - 0 views

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    "The Southern Education Foundation has created an excellent info graphic about the dangers of vouchers and ta mx credits-public funding of private schools. It is worth your while to watch it."
Jeff Bernstein

For Pearson, Common Core Is Private Profit | Al Jazeera America - 0 views

  • Has the company that produces many standardized tests gained control of our education system?
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    "Has the company that produces many standardized tests gained control of our education system?"
Jeff Bernstein

Teacher Quality - Still Plenty Of Room For Debate | Shanker Institute - 0 views

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    "On March 3, the New York Times published one of their "Room for Debate" features, in which panelists were asked "How To Ensure and Improve Teacher Quality?" When I read through the various perspectives, my first reaction was: "Is that it?"

    It's not that I don't think there is value in many of the ideas presented -- I actually do. The problem is that there are important aspects of teacher quality that continue to be ignored in policy discussions, despite compelling evidence suggesting that they matter in the quality equation. In other words, I wasn't disappointed with what was said but, rather, what wasn't. Let's take a look at the panelists' responses after making a couple of observations on the actual question and issue at hand."
Jeff Bernstein

Separating fact from fiction in 21 claims about charter schools - The Washington Post - 0 views

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    "The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools  released a report last year titled "Separating Fact & Fiction: What You Need to Know About Charter Schools," which takes 21 statements that it calls "myths" about charters and attempts to debunk them, one by one. Now three education researchers have completed a fact-checking analysis of the charter report, coming to some difference conclusions about each myth.  Following is part of the new analysis, which was published by the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado Boulder, and which you can find in full, complete with extensive footnotes on the NEPC website."
Jeff Bernstein

How Not To Improve New Teacher Evaluation Systems | Shanker Institute - 0 views

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    "Granted, whether and how to alter new evaluations are difficult decisions, and there is no tried and true playbook. That said, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposals provide a stunning example of how not to approach these changes. To see why, let's look at some sound general principles for improving teacher evaluation systems based on the first rounds of results, and how they compare with the New York approach.*"
Jeff Bernstein

The Better Way to Improve Education: Invest and Trust | Arthur Camins - 0 views

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    "Current debate about education policy is dominated by several zombie ideas. One idea that should have been dead, but keeps coming back to life is the "government is the problem"-inspired commitment to public disinvestment. The other better left for idea is to distrust educators, but trust tests and markets to improve education. There is a better, third way to improve education: invest and trust."
Jeff Bernstein

Beware of Education Reformers Who Co-Opt the Language of the Civil Rights Movement - em... - 0 views

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    "The push for educational equity was a major part of the Civil Rights movement. Although we have made much progress from the days of segregated schools we have yet to achieve a system of education that is equitable for all children. Low-income children and children of color continue to be failed by our public school system. There is much work to done as we continue to march towards Dr. King's dream. Corporate education reform is not an ally in our fight for educational justice. We must not be fooled by those who seek to use the legacy of our struggle to turn a profit at the expense of our children's education. A strong democratic republic needs high quality public schools that offer a free and appropriate public education to all."
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