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Jeff Bernstein

Charter schools score higher than NYC schools, but critics say comparison is unfair - N... - 0 views

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    "Publicly funded, privately run charter schools enroll less than half as many English-language learners and fewer kids with disabilities than district-run schools do.

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Jeff Bernstein

Report: ALEC education task force fabricates problems to sell solutions « Edu... - 0 views

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    "A new report by ProgressNow focuses on how the ALEC education task force has used a state-by-state report card to fabricate failure in state public education systems in order to create a sales opportunity for their corporate membership."
Jeff Bernstein

North Carolina: A First Look at the Destruction of Public Education | Diane Ravitch's blog - 0 views

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    "Lindsay Wagner is an excellent journalist at NC Policy Watch. She covers the legislature.

    Here is her summary of the slash-and-burn policies that the legislature applied to public education"
Jeff Bernstein

No Rich Child Left Behind - NYTimes.com - 0 views

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    "Here's a fact that may not surprise you: the children of the rich perform better in school, on average, than children from middle-class or poor families. Students growing up in richer families have better grades and higher standardized test scores, on average, than poorer students; they also have higher rates of participation in extracurricular activities and school leadership positions, higher graduation rates and higher rates of college enrollment and completion.

    Whether you think it deeply unjust, lamentable but inevitable, or obvious and unproblematic, this is hardly news. It is true in most societies and has been true in the United States for at least as long as we have thought to ask the question and had sufficient data to verify the answer.

    What is news is that in the United States over the last few decades these differences in educational success between high- and lower-income students have grown substantially."
Jeff Bernstein

Alan Singer: Enough is Enough -- Pearson Education Fails the Test Again and Again - 0 views

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    "This is a long post because there is so much about the Pearson company you need to read about and evaluate. Please read to the end, because if you agree with these findings, you need to contact public officials and press them to end the relationship between Pearson and American schools. I did receive a reply to my email above from Susan Aspey, the Vice President for Media Relations at Pearson. It is included at the end of the report. I attach it without comment. It is up to you to decide if the reply satisfactorily addresses the issues I raise in this post."
Jeff Bernstein

Education Week: Ed. Companies Exert Public-Policy Influence - 0 views

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    "...Those examples, and many others, suggest the influence education companies are trying to exert on policymaking and legislation."
Jeff Bernstein

Shanker Blog » Greetings From Due Diligence, New Jersey - 0 views

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    "To reiterate, the point here is not really about whether Camden schools should be taken over, nor is this discussion intended to suggest that the choice to do so was not deliberated extensively, using a variety of different types of information. Rather, this is about the more basic fact that NJ officials have justified their decision to the public based in large part on the argument that Camden schools are severely ineffective, but their evidence doesn't really come close to supporting that conclusion."
Jeff Bernstein

Could New York Be the Next Chicago? - Working In These Times - 0 views

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    "Last September's Chicago teachers strike, organized-and won-by an unapologetically democratic, community-centered union, gave hope to laborites across the country that there could be a functional American labor movement.

    Now, a caucus of unionists seeks to remake New York's United Federation of Teachers, the city's local of the American Federation of Teachers, in the CTU's mold. The Movement of Rank-and-File Educators (MORE) was founded last spring as an alliance of teacher caucuses and activist groups. The caucus stands unconditionally opposed to school closings, retributive punishment of students, and the "junk science" of evaluating teachers based on student tests. "Teachers need to play the role in laying a platform for parents and students," says Marissa Torres, MORE's candidate for assistant treasurer in next month's elections. Torres calls for the UFT, like the Chicago Teachers Union, to foreground explicit anti-racism and collective struggle."
Jeff Bernstein

State's teacher rating system studied | The Journal News | LoHud.com | lohud.com - 0 views

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    "In a direct challenge to New York's most high-profile education initiative, school superintendents from across the region are beginning an independent review of the accuracy of state-generated teacher ratings that are based on student test scores.

    The Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents has hired a research center at the University of Wisconsin to study the state's first round of teacher scores, released last summer, and to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of New York's approach. At least 80 school districts in the Lower Hudson Valley and Long Island are turning over data on thousands of students and teachers - all anonymously - so that researchers can run the numbers."
Jeff Bernstein

Why Are Walmart Billionaires Bankrolling Phony School 'Reform' In LA? | Perspectives, W... - 0 views

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    "For years, Los Angeles has been ground zero in an intense debate about how to improve our nation's education system. What's less known is who is shaping that debate. Many of the biggest contributors to the so-called "school choice" movement - code words for privatizing our public education system - are billionaires who don't live in Southern California, but have gained significant influence in local school politics. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's recent contribution of $1 million to a political action committee created to influence next week's LAUSD school board elections is only the most recent example of the billionaire blitzkrieg.

    For more than a decade, however, one of the biggest of the billionaire interlopers has been the Walton family, heirs to the Walmart fortune, who have poured millions into a privatization-oriented, ideological campaign to make LA a laboratory for their ideas about treating schools like for-profit businesses, and treating parents, students and teachers like cogs in what they must think are education big-box retail stores."
Jeff Bernstein

Yes, Virginia, There Really IS a Billionaire Boys Club - Living in Dialogue - Education... - 0 views

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    The second largest school district in the nation, Los Angeles Unified, is in the midst of what must surely be the costliest school board race ever.

    This month we have seen report after report of billionaire donations rolling in, totaling almost $3 million. First we learned that Eli Broad and former Univision head Jerrold Perenchio had each pitched in $250,000. Then New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg dropped a cool million into the effort. Most recently, Michelle Rhee's StudentsFirst lobby has added in their own quarter million.

    The billionaire's money is being spent to pay for what the usually staid Los Angeles Times calls "junk ads," and "serious exaggeration and distortion."

    The big concern among these "reformers," is apparently that the pace of charter school expansion might be slowed. They are also very focused on eliminating or weakening due process and seniority protections for teachers. And most of all, they want board members who will offer strong support to Superintendent John Deasy, a favorite of the Gates Foundation.
Jeff Bernstein

The Non-reformy Lessons of KIPP | School Finance 101 - 0 views

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    "We've all now had a few days to digest the findings of the most recent KIPP middle school mega-study. I actually do have some quibbles with the analyses themselves and the presentation of them, one of which I'll address below, but others I'll set aside for now.  It is the big picture lessons that are perhaps most interesting."
Jeff Bernstein

Welfare for the rich? Private school tax credit programs expanding - 0 views

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    At a time when government budgets at all levels are under enormous strain, families and businesses are struggling and federal agencies are facing dramatic across-the-board spending cuts, you would think lawmakers would be careful about spending public money. So it may surprise you to learn that in a growing number of states, legislators are setting aside public money to pay for private school tuition - and rich people are benefiting.
Jeff Bernstein

Special Report: The profit motive behind virtual schools in Maine | The Portland Press ... - 0 views

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    Documents expose the flow of money and influence from corporations that stand to profit from state leaders' efforts to expand and deregulate digital education.
Jeff Bernstein

Charter schools and disaster capitalism - Salon.com - 0 views

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    In public policy circles, crises are called "focusing events" - bringing to light a particular failing in government policy.  They require government agencies to switch rapidly into crisis mode to implement solutions. Creating the crisis itself is more novel.

    The right-wing, free market vision of University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman informed the blueprint for the rapid privatization of municipal services throughout the world due in no small part to what author Naomi Klein calls "Disaster Capitalism." Friedman wrote in his 1982 treatise Capitalism and Freedom, "When [a] crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around"

    In Klein's book The Shock Doctrine, she explains how immediately after Hurricane Katrina, Friedman used the decimation of New Orleans' infrastructure to push for charter schools, a market-based policy preference of Friedman acolytes. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan was the CEO of Chicago Public Schools at the time, and later described Hurricane Katrina as "the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans." Duncan is of the liberal wing of the free market project and a major supporter of charter schools.

    There aren't any hurricanes in the Midwest, so how can proponents of privatization like Mayor Rahm Emanuel sell off schools to the highest bidder?

    They create a crisis.
Jeff Bernstein

Aaron Pallas: How many ineffective teachers are actually out there? - 0 views

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    Getting rid of ineffective teachers is pretty much the focus of school reform these days but pinpointing who really should go isn't as easy as it seems. Aaron Pallas, professor of sociology and education at Teachers College, Columbia University, looks at the issue here. He writes the Sociological Eye on Education blog - where this post first appeared - for The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, non-partisan education-news outlet affiliated with the Hechinger Institute on Education and the Media.
Jeff Bernstein

How charter schools get students they want | Reuters - 0 views

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    Charters are public schools, funded by taxpayers and widely promoted as open to all. But Reuters has found that across the United States, charters aggressively screen student applicants, assessing their academic records, parental support, disciplinary history, motivation, special needs and even their citizenship, sometimes in violation of state and federal law.
Jeff Bernstein

What You Need to Know About the Seattle Teachers' Rebellion and the Deeply Flawed Test ... - 0 views

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    "High school teachers in Seattle are saying no to the spread of high-stakes standardized tests. On January 10, the staff of Garfield High School voted unanimously to refuse to administer the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test to their ninth-grade students. For two weeks they've held firm, even as the superintendent of schools has threatened them with a 10-day unpaid suspension, and teachers at other schools have joined their boycott."
Jeff Bernstein

Call for ban on co-locations has charter school backers nervous | GothamSchools - 0 views

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    "The city's charter school sector is pushing back against a groundswell of support for a moratorium on the space-sharing arrangement that has allowed the schools to proliferate.

    Their resistance is not unified in tone. Some charter school advocates are requesting that proponents of a moratorium reconsider and others are taking their fight to the street. "
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