Below you see an article that does a good job explaining why this data is skewed and presents little useful information. As we talked about with the Baltimore Teacher's Union failure to support these reforms there are very few that think this data is real or meaningful. I looked at a WYPR report on Common Core that suggested these standards were developed by teachers and educators.
'The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were developed by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSS0)'. Now, we know that all of education reform is being written by ALEC.....corporations and politicians working for them so when someone says that teachers had input it is just like Mayor Rawlings-Blake telling us that there will be a public task force to replace school board members when we hear from those people they are having no input....it was already decided. So, we know the same institutions that gave us the education reform in the late 1980s that took America from first in the world quality schools to last in the world are again writing this education reform. It involves education businesses and is only meant to create a market for profit.
When WYPR pretends that the Common Core was written by teachers and that the scores on tests for underserved students are higher they are working with Johns Hopkins in managing the idea that education reform in Baltimore is working...ie, all the charters and Teaching to the Test. As the article below suggests there are ways of making data say what you want and whether it is amplifying insignificant gains that are more likely to be margins of error, or having those students most likely to score low be absent the day of the tests....we know that all of Maryland's data is never authenticated unless a Federal investigation outs the complete lack of oversight over any government and corporate operation. If you talk to students, parents, and teachers they all hate what is being done in the classrooms because it does not improve achievement and because it creates an environment of students not liking education. We discussed just recently the high absenteeism in underserved students in Baltimore because of these school choice/Teaching to the Test formats. How can you have record amounts of school absenteeism and have a gain in achievement? It is ridiculous.
What's Wrong With Standardized Tests
Submitted by Fair Test on May 22, 2012 - 9:26pm
The good news for the American people is that parents, teachers, and communities are mobilizing against this failed policy that is moving hundreds of billions of education dollars to these businesses and consultants making and implementing these policies....that was the point after all. Profits in education businesses are soaring! With the Federal funding of these programs drying we now need to take back control of local and state education policy and school boards who are stacked with corporate appointed administrators. The sad thing about all of this is that we did indeed need reform....the education policies of the late 1980s did dumb down the education system. I think all teachers and administrators will say they embrace some aspects of this reform....but making these policies the whole of the education experience is not the right approach.
Underserved students see themselves in front of computers and not allowed to have recesses as they plow through Teach for the Test day in and day out. Again, performance gains are minimal and the education experience is hated!
Why Common Core standards will fail
By Jay Mathews,February 22, 2012 Washington Post
Virginia, take a bow.
While Maryland, 44 other states and the District are spending billions of dollars to install new national standards for their schools, Virginia has stuck with the standards it has. Mounting evidence shows Virginia is right, and the others wrong.
Common Core standards are the educational fashion of the moment, but your child’s teacher can name many similar plans that went awry. I was impressed at first with the brainpower and good intentions behind the Common Core standards, launched by non-government groups with the support of the Obama administration and governors of both parties. I thought the change would elevate instruction and end the distressing difference between what defined student proficiency in Massachusetts (pretty high) compared with Mississippi (quite low.)
But I have been talking to Brookings Institution scholar Tom Loveless, a national expert on this topic, and read his latest research paper: “Predicting the Effect of Common Core Standards on Student Achievement.” He reviewed the research. He assessed the chances of the Common Core standards making a difference. It turns out this is another big disappointment we should have figured out long ago.
As Loveless notes, there are three main arguments for having all public schools teach the same subjects at the same level of rigor and complexity. First, students will learn more if their learning targets are set higher. Second, students will learn more if the passing grade for state tests are set higher. Third, students will learn more if lesson plans and textbooks are all made more complex and rigorous through required high standards.
Loveless analyzed all available research and found that none of those arguments holds enough validity to risk all that money and effort.
The notion that high-quality standards correlate with higher student achievement was disproven long before Loveless wrote his paper. His Brookings colleague Russ Whitehurst showed in 2009 that states with weak content standards, as judged by the American Federation of Teachers and the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation (not ideological bedfellows), had about the same average scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress tests as states with strong standards. Loveless investigated the possibility that strong standards might predict future achievement gains. They don’t.
Similarly, states that required students to have higher scores on their state tests in order to be judged proficient did not have stronger NAEP scores than states that grant proficiency status even to students who miss half of the questions. Loveless notes that states that made their tests tougher to pass did show improvement in NAEP scores, but that is likely the result of a phenomenon that does not depend on better standards. States are likely to raise the minimum proficiency score only after they see their scores going up, not before.
The idea that common standards might create efficiencies and motivations that raise achievement is disproved by what has happened in the many states that created their own standards. Those states still have some schools scoring very well and others scoring miserably. That variation has not declined, defying happy talk from Common Core advocates.
Our way of thinking about standards has always been wrong, Loveless says. We speak of them as a system of weights and measure, as benchmarks to which schools must adhere. But that’s not it. “Standards in education are best understood as aspirational,” Loveless wrote, “and like a strict diet or prudent plan to save money for the future, they represent good intentions that are not often realized.”
I have interviewed hundreds of teachers who significantly raised student achievement. Not one has ever said it was because of great state learning standards. Good curriculums help, but high-minded, numbingly detailed standards don’t produce them. How teachers are trained and supported in the classroom is what matters, even in states as enlightened as Virginia.
Common Core State Standards What are the Common Core State Standards? By Derrick Meador
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) were developed by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSS0). This effort included governors and state commissioners of education from 48 states, 2 territories, and the District of Columbia. The state-led development did include collaboration with teachers, school administrators
It is the use of these tests and evaluations in determining passing or failing for both teachers and students that the Baltimore Teacher's Union has shouted out against as have teachers all across the country. Most agree that using data to determine strengths and weaknesses in the classroom is not a bad thing....it is now TAKING ALL THE TIME IN CLASSROOM AND THAT IS NOT GOOD!!
You cannot develop a relationship with students and get them to embrace education when you are using these policies that penalize for lack of performance.
Those that follow education policy know that all of this education data is more likely to be sold and used by global education businesses ------that is towards what these policies lead!!
What's Wrong With Standardized Tests
Submitted by Fair Test on May 22, 2012 - 9:26pm
Are standardized tests fair and helpful evaluation tools?
Not really. On standardized exams, all test takers answer the same questions under the same conditions, usually in multiple-choice format. Such tests reward quick answers to superficial questions. They do not measure the ability to think deeply or creatively in any field. Their use encourages a narrowed curriculum, outdated methods of instruction, and harmful practices such as grade retention and tracking.
Are standardized tests objective?
The only objective part of most standardized tests is scoring, when done by an accurately programmed machine. Deciding what items to include on the test, how questions are worded, which answers are scored as "correct,” how the test is administered, and the uses of exam results are all made by subjective human beings.
Are test scores "reliable"?
A test is completely reliable if you would get exactly the same results the second time you administered it. All tests have "measurement error." This means an individual's score may vary significantly from day to day due to testing conditions or the test-taker's mental or emotional state. Scores of young children and scores on sub-sections of tests are particularly unreliable.
Do test scores reflect significant differences among people?
Not necessarily. The goal of most tests is to sort and rank. To do that, test makers make small differences appear large. Questions most people get right or wrong are removed because they don’t help with ranking. Because of measurement error, two people with very different scores on one exam administration might get similar scores on a retest, or vice versa. On the SAT, for example, two students' scores must differ by at least 144 points (out of 1,600) before the test’s sponsors are willing to say the students' measured abilities really differ.
Don't test-makers remove bias from tests?
Most test-makers review items for obvious biases, such as offensive words. But many forms of bias are not superficial. Test-makers also use statistical bias-reduction techniques. However, these cannot detect underlying bias in the test's form or content. As a result, biased cultural assumptions built into the test as a whole often are not removed by test-makers.
Do tests reflect current knowledge about how students learn?
Not at all. While our understanding of the brain and how people learn and think has progressed enormously, standardized tests have remained the same. Test makers still assume that knowledge can be broken into separate bits and that people learn by absorbing these individual parts. Today, cognitive and developmental psychologists understand that knowledge is not separable bits and that people (including children) learn by connecting what they already know with what they are trying to learn. If they cannot actively make meaning out of what they are doing, they do not learn or remember.
Do multiple-choice or short-answer tests measure important student achievement?
These kinds of tests are very poor yardsticks of student learning. They are weak measures of the ability to comprehend complex material, write, apply math, understand scientific methods or reasoning, or grasp social science concepts. Nor do they adequately measure thinking skills or assess what people can do on real-world tasks.
Are test scores helpful to teachers?
Classroom surveys show most teachers do not find scores from standardized tests scores very useful. The tests do not help a teacher understand what to do next in working with a student because they do not indicate how the student learns or thinks. Nor do they measure much of what students should learn. Good evaluation provides useful information to teachers.
How has “No Child Left Behind” (NCLB) affected the use of standardized tests in the U.S.?
NCLB has led to a huge increase in testing. It requires state testing of every student in grades 3-8 and once in high school, more than twice previous federal mandates. NCLB also led to an explosion of other standardized exams, including “benchmark” tests often administered 3-10 times per year. U.S. students are now the most tested on Earth.
What is high-stakes testing?
High-stakes tests are used to make important decisions such as student promotion or graduation, granting teacher tenure, or sanctioning schools for poor performance. Twenty-six states now have graduation tests; some states and districts have tests for grade promotion. NCLB attaches sanctions to test results. Even though NCLB has failed to improve schools, policy makers continue to expand high-stakes test uses such as “value-added” teacher evaluation.
What happens when tests become high stakes?
High-stakes testing often results in a narrow focus on teaching just the tested material (test preparation). Other content in that subject as well as untested subjects such as social studies, art and music are cut back or eliminated. High-stakes testing also produces score inflation: scores go up, but students have not learned more. Their scores are lower even on a different standardized test. This undermines the meaning of test results as well as education.
What are other consequences of high-stakes testing?
Attaching high stakes to test results increases cheating and other efforts to boost scores without improving educational quality. This can be done by arranging for low-scoring students to be absent on test day or pushing them out of school, often into the prison pipeline.
Are there better ways to evaluate student achievement or ability?
Yes. Good teacher observation, documentation of student work, and performance-based assessment, all of which involve the direct evaluation of real learning tasks, provide useful material for teachers, parents, and the public. Many nations that do the best in international comparisons, like Finland, use these techniques instead of large-scale standardized testing.
►Other FairTest fact sheets and reports provide details and research evidence to support the points in this fact sheet.
If you are concerned about the harmful consequences of standardized tests, please sign the National Resolution on High-Stakes Testing at http://timeoutfromtesting.org/nationalresolution. And see our website – http://www.fairtest.org - for more ways to fight test misuse and overuse.
As all Baltimore residents know there is a plethora of private non-profits handling eduction in our schools and they partner with private for-profits like this Brick 4 Kidz below. This is a private company no doubt owned by a global corporation that is being marketed around the world and here in the US. It does nothing of value other than take the education role of the teacher and hand it to these programs that occur during the school period or as after-school programs. Then taxpayer money and private corporate donations that are written off by corporations move money to that private for-profit business. IT IS PURE SCAM, AND HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH EDUCATION QUALITY!
BALTIMORE IS FULL OF THIS EDUCATION SCAM!
Educational Franchise Businesses Are Practical and Profitable
By Sooraj Surendran
Education in India is a field of great scope for potential business opportunities like educational franchises. India houses the largest section of youth population. They are always on the look out for quality education with world class training systems. This offers great possibility for new educational ideas to enter the Indian market and become accepted. This is where the idea of franchising becomes relevant.
Kids Zee, British Academy for English School, Arihant Institute and NIIT are fine examples, which do good business in the education field. They have branches all over the country. This happened only due to franchising.
There are many benefits of opening an education franchise business in India. The best thing of spending in an education franchise is that you will be able to work on a business which has been established already. This saves investors and business people from too much strain and struggle to sell their product in order to gain the attraction of customers. If people are familiar with the education firm and the brand, they will be willing to purchase your services. It has been established that starting an education franchise business have a high success rate, at least 70% chances of survival.
Full Support from the Franchiser is another attractive feature of the business. Franchisers provide full support to investors in an education franchise. As a franchisee, an investor will be supplied with all the necessary equipments, training objects, instruction manuals, and all the needed help from the franchiser. This will surely help in starting a business in the education sector. This indeed will be a great help to an investor.
Moreover, the marketing benefits provided for the franchisees or investors will include the diverse marketing campaigns by the parent company or the franchiser. Every now and then, franchisers also present training to their franchises to assist them runs their new venture successfully. This will help the investors expand other marketing strategies better. The franchisers have ample experience and knowledge on how to run and manage business profitably. They are ever ready to help franchisees and entrepreneurs who are ready to franchise their business.
Financial assistance is easy for a franchisee business. Quite frequently franchisers sponsors new franchise owners directly or by organizing loan for them by means of lending institutions. Considering all the pros and cons of the business, there is no doubt an education franchise will be a profitable business.
Educational franchise is a very profitable business these days. Click here to know more about franchise for kids
BRICKS 4 KIDZ
Bricks 4 Kidz classes provide an extraordinary atmosphere for children, where we learn, we build, we play… with LEGO® bricks. Programs are built around our proprietary model plans, designed by engineers and architects, with exciting themes such as space, construction, and amusement parks. Our specially designed project kits and theme-based models provide the building blocks for the Bricks 4 Kidz approach to educational play. At Bricks 4 Kidz, we believe that kids learn best through activities that engage their curiosity and creativity.
We offer activities for children ages 3-13+, including:
After-school enrichment classes
Week-long summer camps
Kidz Night Out
Our programs provide a safe, relaxed learning environment where initiative is invited and self-expression is celebrated. Model building provides opportunities for problem-solving and helps kids develop an appreciation for how things work. All this takes place while kids are having fun and socializing in a non-competitive atmosphere.
- Introduce engineering and architecture principles
- Explore math and science concepts
- Increase general knowledge through discussions related to each model
- Develop social/emotional skills such as patience, teamwork and communication in the process of completing a project
- Enhance self-esteem by solving problems and completing projects
- Improve fine-motor skills as children manipulate small components
- Utilize multiple learning modalities to engage visual, kinesthetic and auditory learning styles
- Teach important classroom skills such as organization and following directions
- Foster an appreciation for how things work
Below you can see where our government has become nothing more than privatized private contractors and that these education departments only strategize how to grow profits. PERIOD! This is not a democrat/republican thing.....this is a politician as corporate profit-maximizer!!! THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRATS CREATED THIS ENVIRONMENT WHEN THEY HANDED THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OVER TO CORPORATE INTERESTS!
VOTE YOUR DEMOCRATIC INCUMBENT OUT OF OFFICE AND RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE!!
Private Collection Agency Recovery Rates Fall Short of ED Projections
Cynthia Wilson March 15, 2011
Posted in Department of Education Collections .
For the first 15 months of its current student loan debt collection contract, the U.S. Department of Education’s 22 private debt collection agencies have recovered $3.8 billion, 41 percent more than collected during the first 15 months of the previous contract.
The recoveries, which include all revenue streams such as approved litigation accounts and pending rehabilitated loans, are surprising given that the agencies began their collection efforts when the unemployment rate peaked at 10.2 percent in October 2009, the highest in 26 years and more than double the unemployment rate in September 2005. In January, the unemployment rate dropped to 9 percent, but is still well above what some economist say will be the new normal.
Nonetheless, the Department of Education (ED) was expecting more.
“The current default recovery rates are not what we projected,” an ED spokeswoman told insideARM.com. “Although we are collecting more funds, we are not meeting our own internal goals and expectations for recoveries. We continue to analyze the data and look for ways to improve the department’s recovery efforts.”
ED had hoped to generate more collections through competition when it attached new incentives to the current contract, awarded in 2009. Top performers — which are determined by a weighted average of contractors’ performance in total dollars collected, total accounts serviced and total administrative resolutions — now receive a greater share of the accounts when they are divvied up each quarter, boosting the agencies’ potential revenues and bonuses.
Since the incentives were introduced a year ago, the collection contractors’ performance rankings have been as unpredictable as the stock market, particularly among the unrestricted contractors where it’s rare to see any one company earn the top performance ranking two quarters in a row.
While quarterly performance rankings determine placement volumes, monthly results usually are a precursor to the likely winners each quarter. At the end of January Van Ru Credit Corp. climbed five spots to finish first in the ED performance rankings with 93.46 points, while Continental Service Group, d.b.a. ConServe, earned second place with 87.27 points. Collecto Inc., d.b.a., EOS-CCA finished third among unrestricted contractors with 85.50. Pioneer Credit Recovery, the top performer among unrestricted contractors last quarter and overall leader in the dollars collected category, fell to sixth place in January.
Of all the contractors, only small business contractor Collection Technology Inc. (CTI) has earned the top ranking for more than three consecutive quarters. CTI, of Monterey, Calif., ended January with 94.11 points, followed by Coast Professional with 89.42 points. Immediate Credit Recovery finished third with 83.03 points.
CTI has maintained its lead by winning at least two of the three categories, the most important of which is dollars collected which the ED assigns 70 points. The ED awards 20 points to the winner of the total accounts serviced category and 10 points to the winner of the administrative resolutions category. The other agencies are scored against the top performers.
In the unrestricted category, Van Ru won the dollars collected category, but no others. The two other top three finishers also earned their rankings because of their performance in the dollars collected category, but neither was the top performer in any category.
Of the $3.8 billion the collection agencies (17 unrestricted and five small business firms) have recovered to date, more than $894 million is categorized as collected, which includes rehabilitated loans. Loans are considered rehabilitated when 10 or more consecutive payments have been received.
Performance Rankings for January 2011
Unrestricted (Large) Firms Score (Jan. 2011) $$ Collected (Jan. 2011)
Van Ru Credit Corporation 93.46 $11,105,721
ConServe 87.27 $9,223,902
EOS-CCA (Collecto Inc.) 85.50 $8,830,543
West Asset Management 85.10 $6,715,923
ERS 84.77 $9,227,308
Windham Professionals 84.45 $7.967,086
Pioneer Credit Recovery (Sallie Mae) 83.91 $9,974,561
Diversified Collection Services 81.08 $8,413,561
FMS Investment Corp. 80.34 $7,392,741
Allied Interstate (iQor) 78.65 $8,353,481
Financial Asset Management Systems 76.23 $8,860,694
GC Services LP 75.06 $7,736,451
NCO Group 73.83 $8,430,820
Account Control Technology 73.51 $7,104,993
Premiere Credit of North America 71.62 $6,763,313
CBE Group 67.92 $6,735,197
Progressive Financial Services 66.86 $6,171,562
Small Businesses Score (Jan. 2011) $$ Collected (Jan. 2011)
Collection Technology, Inc. 94.11 $4,881,491
Coast Professional 89.42 $4,040,513
Immediate Credit Recovery 83.03 $3,204,259
Delta Management Associates 73.24 $2,486,788
National Recoveries 70.12 $2,696,023
Posted in Department of Education Collections .