MARYLAND IS GROUND ZERO FOR THE WORST OF THIS AND ALL OF THE CURRENT CANDIDATES ARE NEO-LIBERALS AND WILL CONTINUE THE PRIVATIZATION!
This is what is being made of our public universities as they have been tied to corporations as R and D extensions and now all academic research is tainted with the drive for profit. Maryland and O'Malley are ground zero for this and we need to dismantle these connections so we can go back to being one of the strongest systems of education in the world!
In Maryland, Johns Hopkins has been a corporation for this past decade and has used a trillion dollars in Federal, state, and local taxes to build a private global corporation and still pays no taxes. THIS IS AN ANATHEMA TO PUBLIC AND DEMOCRATIC EDUCATION AND NEEDS TO BE REVERSED.
I listened as corporate NPR stated that a university in Kentucky was installing upscale dorms on campus with the goal of eliminating all of the old ones and charging high dorm costs to students.....obviously costing out the lower/middle class. Recruiting those foreign students is the goal. THIS WOULD HAPPEN SAYS NEO-LIBERAL NPR! OH, REALLY????
Obama sent hundreds of billions of dollars in 'stimulus' funding to universities to do this-----it was a goal to make universities exclusive. Now, labor and justice have campuses with strong facilities that need to come back to the people. We can bring costs back down by using all of the corporate structures for our K-12 education extensions of the classrooms and allow our lower/middle class students quality dorms and classrooms on the cheap!
Please consider what all of this buildup of our public universities as corporate partners will look like as we return them to the public education mission. Ending all of the administrative connections between university, corporations, and NIH and other Federal funding agencies will drop the costs of tuition....all of the costly product production research will be returned to the simplicity of basic research. This is towards where we need to go.
WE ARE NOT COMPETING WITH THE WORLD....WE ARE GROWING OUR DOMESTIC ECONOMY AND MAKING OUR COUNTRY STRONG FROM THE INSIDE OUT!
As MarketPlace Money finally admitted, the movement against Race to the Top is strong and growing. No one wants it. When you hear that over 40 states signed on that was because Obama made Federal funding for education tied to Race to the Top. States signed on for the money!
Just an FYI----the NIH is now as heavily securitized as a military base and seems to be for corporate eyes only!!!
Berkeley training helps researchers 'work around' potential conflicts
By David Heathemail 6:00 am, December 20, 2013 Updated: 6:15 am, December 20, 2013 17likes22tweets1 commentE-mailPrint Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington in May 2013.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Lauded public health researcher also worked for industry, revealing entanglements of science
By David Heath December 20, 2013 BERKELEY, Calif. --
A faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley, wanted to secure a National Institutes of Health grant to benefit his startup company.
That might be a problem, university officials in charge of complying with NIH’s conflict-of-interest rules said. Their solution? Resubmit the application and list another faculty member as the researcher. The academic withdrew the application instead.
This real example was presented in a September 2011 training video, posted on YouTube, showing how university officials help researchers avoid having to disclose possible financial conflicts of interest to the federal agency funding their research.
Records detail another case this year in which a professor said it was “highly likely” his company would license any technology produced from his NIH-funded research. Berkeley officials saw no conflict.
To some, such cases raise questions about how stringently UC Berkeley enforces NIH’s conflict-of-interest rules. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said they also raise questions about whether the NIH should leave enforcement to universities.
Concerns that financial entanglements can taint research prompted the NIH in August 2011 to strengthen its rules requiring disclosure of financial conflicts. The new rules expanded the definition of such conflicts and required more reporting to NIH.
“NIH can continue to rewrite conflict of interest rules, but the rules won’t do any good unless there’s a way to make them stick,” Grassley told the Center for Public Integrity. “Research institutions that look the other way on conflicts of interest appear free to do so knowing NIH will take them at their word.”
The NIH declined to comment on UC Berkeley’s practices or to respond to Grassley’s comments. In a written statement, a spokesperson said, “NIH strengthened the key provisions of the regulations and added accountability and transparency to send a clear message that NIH is committed to promoting objectivity in the research it funds.”
The issue of conflicts of interest in research is complex. Congress passed the Bayh-Dole Act in 1980, allowing nonprofit organizations and small businesses with federal research grants to own the patents on their discoveries. Yet studies suggest financial conflicts can bias research findings.
The theory in the scientific community is that you can manage conflicts to reduce bias, and a common way to do that is to require public disclosure. NIH requires schools to investigate and manage possible conflicts; under the new rules, it directs schools to explain how it is managing the conflicts.
Graham Fleming, UC Berkeley’s vice chancellor for research, said the very nature of research is to make discoveries that aid the public.
“Conflict of interest is something we take very seriously. We don’t aim to eliminate it. In fact that would be counterproductive. What we aim to do is to manage the conflict of interest,” he said.
A standard way to manage a conflict is to name another professor without a financial stake as the lead researcher, something that the school would disclose to NIH, Fleming said. By naming a new researcher, he said, the conflict is eliminated. oh really???? So, having corporate executives on each other's boards solves those conflicts?
In the UC Berkeley training video, Jyl Baldwin, coordinator of the university’s conflict-of-interest committee, says situations like this are "rare." The committee's goal, she says, is to help researchers so “the research can go on the way it’s proposed without causing any headlines in the San Francisco Chronicle."
Baldwin also said, “For certain programs, [the Department of Energy] also has a financial disclosure requirement. We’ve found a way to work around that — I shouldn’t say that; it sounds negative, or sounds manipulative. We found a way to handle the DOE disclosure requirements.”
The school’s website and the training video suggest that in some cases the university determines there is no conflict of interest even when the professor has a financial stake in the research.
“Is a financial interest automatically a conflict of interest? Not necessarily,” says UC Berkeley’s website. “This may be a matter of semantics. Some argue that any financial interest in a company automatically puts the individual into a situation where there is a conflict with his or her research responsibilities.”
NIH rules say a researcher has a significant conflict of interest if the researcher is paid more than $5,000 or owns stock in a private company with interest in the research. Sometimes, that standard is put to the test.
In April, genetics professor Andrew Dillin disclosed to UC Berkeley officials that he gets paid $90,000 a year and owns 2 million shares – valued at $200,000 – of Proteostasis Therapeutics, a company he co-founded to develop new drugs for people with cystic fibrosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Dillin said it was “highly likely” the company would license any technology arising from the $387,000 research grant he was seeking from NIH.
The school’s conflict-of-interest committee concluded there was no conflict and that no disclosure needed to be made to NIH. The research was not within the current “focus” of the company, the head of the committee wrote.
Even so, the committee said it would be “prudent” for Dillin to disclose his company ties to students in his laboratory and when presenting his research in talks or publications.
Asked why the committee suggested Dillin disclose ties to his students but not to the NIH, Fleming referred the question to university spokesman Dan Mogulof. Because the committee found no conflict of interest, Mogulof explained in an email, there was no requirement for Dillin to disclose his company ties to anyone.
“In other words, the Committee recommended that Prof. Dillin take steps beyond those required by federal regulations,” Mogulof wrote. Dillin did not respond to an interview request.
NIH rules say that even in cases where the university has more stringent conflict of interest rules than NIH, it must still disclose how it will manage the conflict.
The NIH had initially proposed that schools post all financial disclosures from researchers on university websites. But in the final rules, that proposal was changed to releasing the records, when requested, within five business days.
It took UC Berkeley more than two months to release Dillin’s disclosures following a Center for Public Integrity public records request. The school’s public-records officer said NIH’s five-day rule didn’t apply because the school determined there was no conflict.
Universities have their own conflict in trying to police researchers because they get a cut of research dollars, said Paul Thacker, a fellow at Harvard University and a former investigator for Grassley specializing in conflicts of interest in research.
School officials don’t fear retaliation from the NIH, Thacker believes, because the agency doesn’t have a history of cracking down.
The Center requested interviews with conflict-of-interest officials at NIH for weeks, but the agency declined. The NIH would not talk about its history of enforcing conflict-of-interest rules and said it had no data on how many times it had taken action against researchers or universities for failing to disclose conflicts.
Grassley said that despite the recent changes in NIH rules, more needs to be done.
“An effective enforcement mechanism might require legislation," he said, "since NIH either can’t or won’t get tough enough on its own.”
Stop allow global corporate politicians to define the goals of public education. We are not in a race to compete with other nations for achievement. We are a democracy with education as a tool towards making people good citizens and leaders in their communities.....well, that is where we used to be and that is towards where the American people are going.
We did need to return to rigor and accountability in K-college with teaching and student achievement. The education reforms in the 1980s by Reagan and Clinton deliberately undermined the education system that was best in the world for just that by taking textbooks out of the classrooms and requiring calculators by used in teaching math----THAT WAS WHAT CREATED THE PROBLEM AND WE SIMPLY NEED TO REVERSE THIS.....NO TESTING AND EVALUATIONS OR COMMON CORE NEEDED. We are a nation of diversity and if we allow our humanities to become COMMON CORE directed we are eliminating that freedom and diversity and handing all information distribution to those 1% wanting that control!
The problem with evaluations centered on student performance is that no classroom is standard and no school is standard.....THERE IS NO STANDARD TO EVALUATE.
The Education Story The Numbers Don’t Tell
Education Opportunity Network
As 2013 closed out, the education world was roiled by yet another controversy over the calculation and interpretation of statistical data used to govern teachers and school services.
This controversy, coming to us from the nation’s capital, involved, according to the report in The Washington Post, “Faulty calculations of the ‘value’ that D.C. teachers added to student achievement in the last school year.”
“The evaluation errors,” noted reporter Nick Anderson, “underscore the high stakes of a teacher evaluation system that relies in part on standardized test scores to quantify the value a given teacher adds to the classroom.”
This controversy falls into a long line of previous ones stretched across the year. Now that the results from tests are being used to judge just about anything having to do with education, debates over education policy have become and endless back-and-forth over whether the data are reliable and what, if anything, they reveal.
Whether it’s “white suburban moms” disputing their children’s standardized test results or pundits parsing out the meaning of PISA, the nation has descended into a heated cross-fire over the impact and relevance of education statistics brandished by “reform” advocates.
While these arguments rage over the relevancy of test scores in policy making, some are now questioning, to use the operative phrase in Anderson’s sentence above, whether it’s even possible or preferable “to quantify the value” in education.
The whole idea that teaching and learning is a pursuit that can be expressed and judged by numbers and rankings, which seems to be a forgone conclusion to policy makers and economists, is increasingly an unsettled matter to most Americans. What they see instead more and more looks like a nation turning its back on the well being of students – especially those who are most in need.
The Impact Of IMPACT?
The reported problems with D.C.’s teacher evaluation system are just the latest example of the problems that occur when test data become a source for policy direction.
The mistake affected 44 teachers, or about 10 percent of faculty the calculations apply to. But the overall effect is way more significant when taking into account the numbers of students who are linked to each teacher.
Further any report of flaws with the teacher evaluations in D.C. is apt to reverberate across the country. The district’s system, known as IMPACT, was created under the administration of Michelle Rhee and has been touted by education advocates aligned with Rhee as a model for the nation.
As the Post’s Valerie Strauss, who also reported on the IMPACT controversy, noted, “Such evaluation has become a central part of modern school reform … In some places around the country, teachers received evaluations based on test scores of students they never had.”
The Truth Behind TUDA?
The reported problems with IMPACT fell on the heels of yet another statistical data dump from the week before.
That statistical disgorge is known as the Trial Urban District Assessment, or TUDA, which analyzed the performance of students in some cities with populations of 250,000 who took part in the National Assessment for Educational Progress.
The education reporter for The Huffington Post, Joy Resmovits, noted, “Washington, D.C. – a standard bearer for what’s known as the education reform movement since former school chancellor Michelle Rhee’s tumultuous tenure at D.C. Public Schools – was the only city to show score increases in both grades in both subjects since 2011.”
So Michelle Rhee’s organization, StudentFirst, immediately issued a press release claiming D.C. schools as one of the “bright spots” that show “what we can learn” from TUDA. First among the lessons was, you guessed it, IMPACT.
Of course, it’s entirely unclear how students analyzed by TUDA – just fourth and eighth graders in two subjects – were in any way affected by IMPACT. Other explanations for D.C.’s superior results seem equally if not more plausible.
For instance, Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, pointed to changes in early childhood education and the city’s demographics as factors. “This is the first group of 4th graders that actually had pre-kindergarten. So what this is saying to us is that all-day kindergarten and prekindergarten is one of the most important investments.” And the city is ” becoming more and more middle class.”
Meanwhile, as Resmovits noted in her article, “Statisticians warn against citing these gains as evidence of efficacy or inadequacy in debates about particular school reforms. ‘It’s not a causal model,’ said Mark Schneider, a vice president at the American Institutes of Research, who used to oversee the Education Department’s research arm. ‘I get very leery when people say that ‘This shows that X happened.’”
Nevertheless, there seems little hesitancy to jump into these statistical suppositions games and then use them to craft whole policies for our children.
Perhaps no assessment data draws more media attention and generates more causal explanations derived from test results than the Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA.
This year’s PISA results were no exception as Secretary of Education Arne Duncan staged PISA Day, a media event that spent most of five hours arguing that the scores were reasons to get behind his pet policies. And Michelle Rhee took to the pages of Time magazine to use the PISA scores as an opportunity to claim the countries that are excelling academically are doing similar things to what she espouses.
As Rutgers professor Bruce Baker explained at his blog, the primary use of PISA data in the public policy discourse is “to ram through ill-conceived, destructive policies.”
Baker – whose edu-stat crunching has been compared to “Nate Silver’s influential and statistically nuanced election forecast blog posts” – concluded about PISA, “Except for showing that economic conditions matter … simple rankings of countries by their PISA scores aren’t particularly insightful.”
“Nothin’ brings out good ol’ American statistical ineptitude like the release of NAEP or PISA data,” Baker continued in a different blog post. Any gains or losses on these tests, Baker contended are less a matter of proving a school system is doing better “because it allowed charter schools to grow faster, or teachers to be fired more readily by test scores,” and more a simple matter that swings in results “are cohort average score differences which reflect differences in the composition of the cohort as much as anything else.”
To mock the whole idea that these test results provide grand insights into “what works” in education, Matt Chingos, writing for the conservative education policy center Education Next, had a bit of year-end holiday fun and contrived “a rigorous empirical analysis that measures the causal effect of Christmas on student achievement.” His conclusion – including the mandatory Excel graph! – that “student learning rises more or less in lock-step with the amount of holiday spending” is about as convincing as what Duncan, Rhee, and other “reform” leaders pull from the data. But that doesn’t seem to stop them.
Testing data’s absurd level of impact on the nation’s entire education endeavor would be a laughing matter if there weren’t such tragic situations occurring on the ground in schools.
Back To Reality
While the nation’s education leaders get lost in a numbers game, there’s ample evidence from real life experiences that our children’s education destinies are becoming more endangered.
As The New York Times recently reported, “Many schools face unwieldy class sizes and a lack of specialists to help those students who struggle academically, are learning English as a second language, or need extra emotional support.”
According to the article elementary class sizes in parts of California have swollen to 30 students and more. The public school district in Dallas, Texas this year sought state permission for over 200 schools to increase class size of 22 students for kindergarten through fourth grade. Some high schools in Charlotte-Mecklenburg County in North Carolina have class sizes of as many as 40 students. And in Cobb County, Ga., average class sizes in fourth and fifth grades are now about 33 students.
The problem arises from the fact that “public schools employ about 250,000 fewer people than before the recession” while enrollments have increased by more than 800,000 students.
“The cutbacks have been particularly pronounced in less affluent school districts,” Times reporter Motoko Rich noted.
On nearly the same day, another New York City newspaper, The Daily News, reported on the alarming state of education services to minority students in the system. “Black and Hispanic high school students are “getting stiffed,” wrote the reporter, based on data provided by the school system.
“On average, white and Asian students attend high schools with twice as many Advanced Placement courses and almost twice as many science labs compared with schools attended by black and Hispanic students.
“Black and Hispanic students also have fewer science subjects available in their high schools and fewer arts classes and rooms … They’re also less likely to have a library, medical office or gym in their school buildings.”
Similarly, a report in a Boston news outlet looked at schools in California and noted, “Hispanic students in general are getting worse educations than their white peers. Their class sizes are larger, course offerings are fewer and funding is lower. The consequence is obvious: lower achievement.”
The Times article caused education historian Diane Ravitch to write on her blog, “We hear so-called reformers proclaim about the importance of teacher evaluation, merit pay, and test scores, but I have yet to hear any of them complain about budget cuts and lack of staff for the arts, physical education, foreign languages, libraries, and so on … How are schools supposed to enact any of their proposals when teachers are stressed out with crowded classrooms?”
2014: A Chance To Change The Conversation
When the last Great Big Education Innovation called No Child Left Behind descended on America’s beleaguered schools, the intention was to address the variance in test score data among K-12 students.
NCLB was supposed to close what was, and still is, called the Achievement Gap. But it’s now widely understood that the whole enterprise was an utter failure. The best that NCLB proponents can offer is that it “woke the country” to the stark differences between the academic attainment of African American and Hispanic school children and their white and Asian peers.
But anyone who needed “awakening” then has doubtless fallen back into slumbers as the country has drifted further and further into a vast sea of segregated schools and education inequality.
Rather than seeking a different course of action, reform-minded policy makers doubled down and brought us even more destructive ways to use test score data, while real experiences of students in actual classrooms – especially in our most financially strained, underserved communities – were ignored.
2014, an election year, offers an opportunity to change that conversation. The American people are ready for it.
Think Common Core is not about privatization of universities? It is universities like Stanford, MIT, and Harvard that are writing Common Core education supplements and tests and patenting them and having these schools pay for the pleasure of using them to implement these reforms at break-neck speed.
Common Core started with Bush-Cheney and when they said history would treat their administration kindly-----THEY WERE WRITING THE COMMON CORE SECTION IN HISTORY!
Diane Ravitch and the Angry Rebellion against Common Core Wielding her influential blog as a weapon, this 75-year-old activist has created a powerful network united by revulsion against top-down, elite policymaking.
by Mark Funkhouser | December 16, 2013
Since the Common Core State Standards for education were first proposed in 2009, 45 states have adopted them. As major public-policy initiatives go, this has been a hurtling train, backed by powerful people and institutions, that has been roaring down the track a breakneck speed.
Now, however, comes the backlash. In at least 17 states there is some kind of serious movement against the Common Core standards. The media have largely portrayed the push to scrap them as the product of a Republican repudiation of any and all things related to a federal government headed by Barack Obama. This is not true. The antipathy to Common Core is part of a much larger rejection of the dominant education-reform paradigm, supported by leaders of both political parties, that embraces charter schools, vouchers, more testing of students, increased accountability for teachers and hostility to teachers' unions.
The movement against Common Core is an angry rebellion that shares with the Occupy and Tea Party movements a revulsion toward top-down policy-making emanating from the nation's elite. At the center of the rebellion, and its animating force, is a 75-year-old grandmother named Diane Ravitch who once supported many of the elements of education reform that she now despises. Whether you agree with her or not, it is clear that Ravitch is an incredible political phenomenon, the likes of which we have not seen in a long time. As much as anyone I have ever seen, she has taken up the tools of social media and wielded them powerfully to try to change the course of American history. And she has managed to do it without staff or funding.
It's worth considering how she has done this.
First, it should be noted that she is a formidable person who herself has been near the levers of establishment power most of her adult life. She was a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution until she went rogue. She has a Ph.D. from Columbia University and is a research professor of education at New York University. She was an assistant secretary of education under President George H.W. Bush and was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the National Assessment Governing Board. She has published 10 books, the most recent being this fall's Reign of Error: the Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America's Public Schools. It made the New York Times best-seller list within days of its release, fueled I'm sure by the buildup for it among the readers of her blog.
The blog is a phenomenon unto itself. Ravitch blogs between five and 20 times a day, usually with links to local-media articles or pieces written by others within her network. In November, 18 months after she launched it, the blog recorded more than 8 million page views. She sometimes has others post on her blog. She says one of those, a post entitled "I Quit" written by a fed-up North Carolina schoolteacher, is the most popular ever to appear on her blog, garnering 66,000 page views the day it went up in October 2012 and more than 250,000 as of this month.
Her readership has evolved into a national network with bloggers and correspondents in virtually every state and every major city who use her site to link with and support each other's efforts. At least two national organizations have sprung up from the interactions of her readers: the Badass Teacher Association, co-founded by Mark Naisson, a historian and proudly radical professor at Fordham University, and the Network for Public Education, which actively engages in school-board fights around the country, advocating and raising money for candidates who share Ravitch's views. Ravitch herself keeps up a grueling schedule of public appearances, often speaking to large crowds and sometimes debating advocates of the reform paradigm such as former Washington, D.C., schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee.
Ravitch is a relentless and focused policy entrepreneur who has said that she goes at it so hard because it is important -- she believes that public education is essential to democracy and faces an existential threat from the reformers -- and because she doesn't have much time, an apparent allusion to her age.
The fact that she is willing to wage such an intense fight to change the course of a major public-policy initiative evidences deep faith and confidence in the American system of governance. Others who want major policy changes should also embrace that faith and take some lessons from how Diane Ravitch operates.
This privatization of our public universities is a direct attack on our democratic society and it is neo-liberals taking the lead in this. Maryland has almost completely privatized all of public higher education!
The Lumina Foundation, Brice Harris, City College of San Francisco and the privatization of higher education
By Danny Weil on December 23, 2013 4:00 am
Readers can take a look at the mendacious and sophistic Brice Harris, the former Chancellor of the Los Rios College. He is a ‘Lumina Foundation’ made man. If you do not know what Lumina is, do Google ‘Danny Weil and Lumina’ and you will find out fast that this criminal syndicate, formerly with Sallie Mae or the ‘outfit’, groomed and paid Harris so he could become Chancellor of ALL the community or should I say, corporate colleges and universities?
These paid supplicants are all on board with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Wall Street hucksters looking to stuff and engorge themselves on the $650 Billion dollar educational industry they have created.
From charter schools to vouchers, from phony Student Success Outcomes (paid for by Lumina) to privatized for profit drive-by colleges, these miscreants have no morals, show no empathy and are in the process of caving the public commons while they feast on hefty CEO salaries and destroy public education.
It’s a shame, really but understandable. America is a banana republic now; in-sourcing and outsourcing labor so the ruling class has no need for an educated populace. In fact, after the 1960’s, they fear it!
No, obedience training is again the norm. Harris is just one in a long line of courtiers for power. He and Jerry Brown (the one candidate whom has taken more money from for-profit predatory colleges than any other political sharpie) are all invested in the demolition of the public commons. This is a corporate democratic plan (http://www.dailycensored.com/the-obama-2020-plan-for-education-chump-change-you-cant-believe-in/) (http://www.dailycensored.com/part-two-the-obama-2020-plan-for-higher-education-chump-change-you-cant-believe-in/