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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

Charter Investors' Conference: Your Tax Dollars at Work: | Diane Ravitch's blog - 0 views

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    "Laura Chapman investigated the charter investors' conference on March 10. And this is what she learned:

    The US Department of Education will be at the charter school "investors" conference, representing you, dear taxpayer, in a scheme to subsidize the financing of charter school facilities that LISC is marketing, along with the Gates and Walton Foundations and a long list of profit seekers investors who get tax credits for doing deals, among other perks."
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."
Jeff Bernstein

The Status Fallacy: New York State Edition | Shanker Institute - 0 views

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    "In summary, then, the status fallacy is not just some innocent, isolated nitpick. It plays a highly consequential role in our national policy and debate about education. That is why, in this single speech, the fallacy could be found underlying several pretty substantial misinterpretations, and these misinterpretations seem to have influenced several of the cornerstones of the governor's education reform proposals going forward.

    Granted, it is very important to acknowledge here that Governor Cuomo is absolutely not the only person who makes these mistakes - they are endemic (the governor is, perhaps, more forceful in his expression of them, and more drastic in his policy reactions).

    Moreover, belief in the status fallacy does not necessarily mean that one's policy proposals are wrong or misguided. It does, however, put one at risk of misdiagnosing problems and making poor decisions about solutions, while also perpetuating the flawed measurement that was institutionalized under NCLB, and continues to pollute our education debate and policymaking."
Jeff Bernstein

Teacher Tenure: An Innocent Victim of Vergara v. California - Education Week - 0 views

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    "It was determined at trial that between 1 percent and 3 percent-roughly 8,200-of California's 275,000 teachers are grossly ineffective. Yet, only 2.2 teachers, on the average, are dismissed for unsatisfactory performance per year.

    Although intended to support the case against tenure laws, these statistics are actually an indictment against those responsible for evaluating teachers effectively."
Jeff Bernstein

The Big Error of School Accountability - Living in Dialogue - 0 views

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    "With the debate over testing roiling Congress and state capitals nationwide, it is important to recognize the damage done to American pedagogy by high-stakes testing and the deleterious effects of punitive accountability on the students who depend on public schools."
Jeff Bernstein

Angry Andy's Failing Schools & the Finger of Blame | School Finance 101 - 0 views

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    "So, where should that finger of blame point here? 
    Or is this just how things work these days - slash the funding of the highest need districts - call them failing - close their schools - give their property and their teacher's jobs to someone else - and claim victory - leaving others, years down the line to clean up your mess?
    Angry Andy - this is your mess. Now do the right thing and fix it!"
Jeff Bernstein

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and baloney - The Washington Post - 0 views

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    "New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's school reform proposals have infuriated educators across the state. Award-winning Principal Carol Burris of South Side High School is one of them and in this post, she  explains why. Burris, who has written frequently for this blog,  was named New York's 2013 High School Principal of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, and in 2010, was tapped as the 2010 New York State Outstanding Educator by the School Administrators Association of New York State. Burris has been exposing the botched school reform program in New York for years on this blog. Her most recent post was "Principal: 'There comes a time when rules must be broken…That time is now.'"

    (In this post, Burris refers to "value-added" scores, which refer to value-added measurement (VAM), which purports to be able to determine the "value" a teacher brings to student learning by plopping test scores into complicated formulas that can supposedly strip out all other factors, including the conditions in which a student lives.)"
Jeff Bernstein

Horace Meister: Why Charters Are NOT the Way to Help Struggling Schools | Diane Ravitch... - 0 views

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    "Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York State, recently released a report called The State of New York's Failing Schools. This report claims to present "statistics and facts" that "expose a public education system badly in need of change" and is designed to support Cuomo's proposal to turn "failing" schools over to private management and convert them into charter schools. But are these public schools failing? Are charter schools the answer? The facts say no.
    To help concretize the question why don't we take a closer look at one charter chain"
Jeff Bernstein

The APPR Insanity Continues - From All Directions | OCM BOCES Instructional Support - 0 views

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    "The problem with this fight is that it drains the system of energy - energy that should be spent on the teaching and learning process. This very visible fight, often fought through the media, is a significant distraction from the work that needs to occur in schools. What's worse, however, is that the battle is over the wrong things.

    The problem is that the battle lines are all over a misplaced emphasis on human capital over social capital."
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