Each Maryland Assembly session the teacher's union is placated by policy that allows unions in charters for example but this session showed O'Malley's real intent when the Assembly filled the education gap from Hogan's cuts with public pension funding. This is supposed to be a save for public education funding but it was used just to justify setting teacher's pensions up for elimination with the coming bond market crash. Underfunded and invested in the collapsing bond market---so, did Hogan really fail in bringing national charter chains to Maryland? Of course not----he placed Kieffer Mitchell from Baltimore in charge of charter schools and they are exploding in Baltimore. They are continuing to build the private charter platform in Baltimore while other counties are restructuring their school systems for the same.
I just finished watching this movie and it fits perfectly with the anti-corporation/autocratic structures that we have addressed with labor and corporatization of education. The unlikely protagonist is the union plumber who is committed to any job that pays time and a half. He is temporarily won by the autocratic leader of an apprenticeship for children that allows these children to focus on one skill set-----in this case the piano. Dr. Seuss was writing right after the war when all of these corporate structures and the fear of apprenticeship takeover of our public school system was on the rise. Neo-liberalism first hit Japan after WW2 and then was installed in Korea and Viet Nam after those wars. This was then extended by Nixon and his visit to China. Fast-forward to Reagan Clinton and Dr Seuss's satire comes to America. It is very realistic in that children are exposed to being the best at one thing to the exclusion of all others. Children do lose the ability to be children as we see happening with this vocational K-college job training education reform. The union plumber was sidetracked by simply wanting work---but the boy makes him an honorary blood brother to the cause of escaping the autocratic apprenticeship and the union plumber takes the lead----IT IS A GREAT MOVIE SATIRE FOR TODAY'S SOCIAL STRUCTURES FORCED ON US BY GLOBAL CORPORATIONS!
I shared what Asian nations tied to this neo-liberal education policy endure----their education is so autocratic---driven by such a level of competition with families spending all their money on private tutor corporations and private after-school programs creating a tiered education system where families with the most money to spent get their children into the best universities with very few spaces available----ergo--the competition. Any of these Asian families will tell you they hate this and they have fought for years to end this neo-liberal education policy installed by the very people now bringing it to America---Clinton neo-liberals and Bush neo-cons.
#195) THE 5,000 FINGERS OF DR.T (1953) MADWORLD1427 4,231 22,274 Uploaded on May 8, 2010
THE 5,000 FINGERS OF DR.T (1953) http://www.youtube.com/group/another1001 DIRECTED BY ROY ROWLAND, STARRING TOMMY RETTING, HANS CONRIED, MARY HEALY, AND PETER LIND HANES..SCREENPLAY BY THE ONE AND ONLY DR. SUESS
Consolidating school boards to executive appointment is the first step as Mayors and County Executives are all Clinton neo-liberals wanting corporatization of schools. Baltimore County and Prince Georges County as are some of the Republican counties are all making those changes. They then appoint a corporate school board. All of the school testing, evaluation, and teacher replacements lead to this privatized national charter chain structure. Even Republican voters are seeing through this community charter vs the national charter chain----Republicans are more protective of controlling their own schools then Democratic voters fighting to keep strong public schools.
MARYLAND'S ELECTIONS ARE SKEWED SO THAT ONLY BUSH NEO-CONS AND CLINTON NEO-LIBERALS ARE LABELED 'STRONG PUBLIC SUPPORT' WHEN IN FACT THEY DO NOT HAVE THAT SUPPORT. ONLY THOSE CANDIDATES ARE ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN PRIMARY ELECTION EVENTS OR RECEIVE MEDIA COVERAGE AND THAT IS WHY WE CANNOT SHAKE THESE BAD POLS. THIS IS ILLEGAL.
Are Charter Schools Todays Version of Sub Prime Mortgages?
I'm Talking 2 You Bill Gates
Published on Jul 15, 2014
Mark Naison debunks Charter School mythology in this episode of Education News. Comparing the Charter School explosion to the subprime mortgage collapse, Naison reveals the startling failures and false promises of the Charter mystique.
Saturday, Mar 28, 2015 10:45 AM EST
We’re educating our kids all wrong: The progressive argument against standardized-test mania Backlash against overtesting, "accountability" and Common Core is right on. Here's how we empower teachers and kids
Tom Little and Katherine Ellison
I’ve been delighted to watch a popular backlash building against an educational “accountability” movement that has robbed students of opportunities for meaningful and lasting learning—not to mention a decent lunch hour. In 2013, teachers at six Seattle high schools refused to administer a new standardized test they said was useless. Students in sixteen states boycotted standardized tests based on the new Common Core curriculum.
And the New York State United Teachers’ union demanded a three-year moratorium on high-stakes testing. In the midst of all this, a movement calling itself the Badass Teachers Association (BAT) and claiming 20,000 members announced its support for “every teacher who refuses to be blamed for the failure of our society to erase poverty and inequality, and refuses to accept assessments, tests, and evaluations imposed by those who have contempt for real teaching and learning.” Whipping up the anti-test fervor even more over the past four years have been thousands of screenings, at schools throughout the nation, of the 2009 documentary “Race to Nowhere: The Dark Side of America’s Achievement Culture,” which features stories of hard-driven students with stress-related illnesses—including that of a perfectionist thirteen-year-old girl who committed suicide.
The New York Times has denounced America’s “testing mania.” From the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind law in 2001 through the Obama administration’s 2009 Race to the Top initiative, federal, state, and local officials have demanded that schools demonstrate success with results on standardized tests. But many educators protest that today’s tests are so poorly designed and developmentally inappropriate that they are making students fear and hate going to school.
In late 2013, Carol Burris, an award-winning New York City high school principal, wrote a scathing review of a test for first-graders, focusing on a question that offered four choices to a problem asking, “Which is a related subtraction sentence?”
Burris noted that her nephew’s wife, who teaches calculus, was stumped by the wording. On her blog, she posted a copy of the test, which had been given to her by a distraught mother. The woman’s son, after dutifully answering the first several questions, had collapsed toward the end into writing big awkward “X’s” through the problems, clearly giving up hope of answering them correctly.
Now, we progressive educators have no objections to accountability, per se. Scientists have shown that the occasional test can help students learn. It’s also clear to us that some teachers, schools, and even states truly ought to be held to higher standards.
Yet we’re convinced that our national testing mania is doing more harm than good. We’re also dismayed by increasing evidence that the nationwide increase in standardized tests has done the most harm to minority and low-income students, widening the income equality gap. And we question some of the motives driving the trend.
In recent years, educational testing has become a multibillion-dollar industry, driven by big international corporations such as Pearson and Educational Testing Services. Simultaneously, both the number and frequency of standardized tests have been ratcheting up, as many school districts have been adding their own tests to prepare students for the federally mandated ones.
Today’s college-bound students find themselves undergoing a continuous stream of these high-pressure tests, including not only the mandated exams to track schools’ progress but SSATs (for private school applicants), PSATs, SATs, ACTs, and four-hour-long Advanced Placement tests, on top of the usual bevy of spot quizzes, mid-terms, and finals.
New laws in many states have tied teachers’ salaries and even jobs to students’ scores. As a result, what used to be a thoughtful, creative profession has become more like working in a factory. Educators are told: Here is the text. This is what we want you to teach; this is how long you can spend teaching it; and this is how we’ll judge your performance. For students, the changes are making many of today’s classrooms seem ever more like the harsh, boring schoolrooms of the early twentieth century.
In my more than a hundred hours of conversations with progressive teachers and principals over the past year, I’ve heard a rise in anxiety that many of us now share with our colleagues in conventional schools.
This is just the example of why Maryland struggles with academic achievement. For decades public schools have allowed for this grade-juking that makes students feel entitled to this artificial bump and it does indeed make students lazy. Nancy Grasmick installed that Reagan/Clinton education reform that dumbed-down American student achievement and that included allowing children just learning math to use calculators in classrooms. Doing math now online with online lessons that offer little interaction or discussion about math logic and hearing what problems one child has so other children can expand how to approach solving these problems will make this achievement worse---
Montgomery County is indeed the canary because it is largely middle-class with schools better funded than most. So, we need to look at the methods of instruction and not assume our children are unable to learn math. I am hearing that nationally they are thinking of removing basic algebra from high school which will limit Americans from some of the best jobs in the future. IT IS THE WAY MATH IS BEING TAUGHT THAT IS THE PROBLEM FOLKS----NOT THE CHILDREN'S ABILITY!
PREP TIME FOR NEW MANDATED TESTS-----TEACHING TO THE TEST TAKES OUT ORDINARY INSTRUCTION!
Montgomery County schools adjusts final Algebra grade after more than 80 percent fail exam
by Kendis Gibson July 1, 2014 - 11:12 am
(WJLA) – In less than a minute, high school senior Naomi Noubossie was able to tackle a simple Algebra 1 equation, but it is the sort of formula that stumped many Montgomery County middle and high school students this year.
So many students failed their Algebra 1 final exam that the school district added a 15 percent bump to their grades.
“It just makes you more lazy, it doesn’t make you work harder. It’s just a way to pass,” said Noubossie.
Of the 4,545 Montgomery County high school students who took the final algebra 1 exam this past year, about 82 percent failed the test.
The district says there were many factors behind the high failure rate, including the loss of more than 20 days due to prep time for new state mandated assessment classes.
“We didn’t make it easier, we didn’t make it harder, we just recognized there were extenuating circumstances at play. It had to be done, and we handled it,” said Dana Tofig, public information officer for Montgomery County Public Schools.
The report cards for thousands of students were also delayed while grades were recalculated in order to include the new algebra grades.
“I don’t appreciate it. I don’t agree with it. I think if a child wasn’t able to make a grade that child needs to step up and regroup and try to make that grade,” said Toby Suarez, a Montgomery County parent.
The grade change was also upsetting for some students who have taken the class in the past and fought hard to get passing grades.
Despite the grade boost, the school says the majority of the students were going to pass the class anyway before the final exam results.
America had rigor in classrooms before the Reagan Clinton education reforms that took text books out of the classroom and made teachers stop using red pens or fail children giving us this passing children on procedure. That was not done in my generation and children managed to graduate with the basics they needed without this testing and evaluation. You have tracking in high school that allows children more advanced to receive more difficult material. Children from underserved communities have gone without funded and resourced schools for too long to have children jump into this kind of rigor----the pendulum is swinging from neglect to extreme BIG BROTHER. We already have standardized testing in grades of transition to assess where our children strengths and needs lie---we do not need this expanded data collection process.
The problem with PARCC: Children should not be leaving standardized tests in tears PARCC is too hard, poorly designed and technologically not ready for prime time.
The author of the Baltimore Sun's editorial, "No 'pause button' for PARCC" (March 13) seems puzzled by a growing number of parents questioning the use of this controversial assessment. As the testing coordinator at a Baltimore City public elementary/middle school, perhaps my direct experience can provide some insight into why this test is so troubling.
State to delay testing graduation requirement
I understand the use of standardized testing as a way of assessing students. What I don't understand is the purpose of the PARCC. I have watched class after class come in happy and ready for testing to watch them leave defeated and some in tears. My breaking point was when one of the most engaged students, who always comes to school to do her best, left my testing room in tears after finishing a math section. She asked me why it was so hard; I had no answer. This bright student is on grade level according to several other reliable measures. I had 7th grader so angry about the questions that she wrote an essay to Pearson (the company that produces the test) on her last math question. Again, this is a student who is working above her grade level who gave up on this test. But for students who struggle, they are desperate for the testing to be over, and I watch their confidence and self esteem plummet. I have seen anger, defeat, frustration, tears and students just giving up. No child should ever leave a testing situation with these feelings. I need to repeat that it is not just one or two students; this is majority of my students.
Debates about the developmental appropriateness of this test aside, the technology issues alone are enough to warrant a closer look at PARCC. There are so many glitches and hoops to jump through to keep the test running. The test will randomly shut down, resulting in a having to restart the main computer so the student can log in again. This interrupts the student's thought process and causes anxiety. There is also a programming issue with using JAVA. The test can only run using a certain version of JAVA and if it is updated, the test won't run. Why the programmers haven't fixed this is beyond me. If JAVA does get updated, that testing computer is no longer available for testing until tech support can be called.
Moratorium sought on school testing On the first go round with the language part of the test we did not pay close attention to whether the sound button was on or not for the main group of testers (since they did not have the text to speech option available to them). Much to our surprise there is a video portion of the test for some of the students. My favorite part is that we couldn't just turn the sound on; we had to log the student out of the test, turn the sound back on, and then resume the test.
Once this go round is done, we have a couple of weeks off, and then we do it all over again. The students will sit for another 7 to 8 hours of testing. I cannot image that they will be inclined to do their best. The damage being done to these students for a test that won't count for anything is unconscionable. I wish public school funding was not tied to this so we could opt out and use an assessment that would accurately measure growth. I do not feel comfortable torturing the students with this misguided, poorly constructed "test."
As I sit here and reflect after administering the PARCC for the 13th day, I find that I am having an extremely difficult time convincing myself to come in again tomorrow and do it all over again.
Wendy Boyer, Baltimore
We are glad to see the movement against privatizing K-12 growing even as Wall Street markets K-12 corporations as hard as it can. The American people will fight for their public education as they learn more about the goals----it's not about improving education---it is about cheapening it!
Why Pearson Tests Our Kids
Posted: 06/11/2014 1:00 pm EDT Updated: 08/11/2014 5:59 am EDT Huffington Post breakfast. Well not just me. I received an email inviting Long Island educators to a free "Breakfast Briefing" promoting "Pearson Personalized Learning" that would empower me to "Turn your traditional student learning into Student-Centered learning by delivering the right curriculum to the right student, at the right time." I checked out Pearson's personal learning products online and then decided that the free breakfast and the opportunity to annoy them was not worth the trip.
Pearson is promoting GradPoint, "an easy to use web based solution for grades 6-12" that "includes over 180 rigorous courses (Core, Electives, AP and Foreign Language & CTE).;" iLit, "a tablet-based reading intervention for students in grades 4-10" which promises "it has everything your class needs to gain two years of reading growth in a single year;" and aimsweb, "the leading assessment and RTI solution in school today-a complete web-based solution for universal screening, progress monitoring, and data management for Grades K-12."
I thought calling their literacy program iLit was pretty funny, but otherwise I find their promotion scary. "Pearson Personalized Learning" is not about supporting schools; it is about replacing them. And it is about replacing them without any evidence that their products work or any concern for the impact of their products on schools and student learning.
Pearson executives Sir Michael Barber, Saad Rizvi and John Fallon call their global market strategy "The Incomplete Guide To Delivering Learning Outcomes." Fallon, Pearson CEO, has been with the company for most of his professional career. He is behind the push for "efficacy," the corporate buzzword, which in practical terms translates into the constant assessing of student performance who are using Pearson products. The testing strategy tied into common core in the United States is neither an accident nor an accessory. Testing is the core of common core.
I find Barber and Rizvi even more interesting than Fallon for understanding Pearson's marketing strategies. Barber is Pearson's chief education strategist and leads its three-pronged assault on education around the world through what Pearson calls efficacy, affordable learning, and the Pearson Knowledge and Research Centre. Efficacy is supposed to be about what works in education based on research done at the research centre, but everything is actually organized around the Pearson goal of "finding business models for affordable schools" that they will be selling, especially in "developing areas of the world."
If you want to know how Pearson plans to operate, you have to look at McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm and advisor to some of the world's leading businesses, governments, and institutions. Before joining Pearson, Michael Barber had a similar role at McKinsey where he was a partner. Saad Rizvi, who is Pearson's Senior Vice President for Efficacy and head of its Catalyst for Education team, was a consultant at McKinsey. McKinsey & Company's clients include 100 of the top 150 companies in the world. It has advised the Bank of England, the Roman Catholic Church in the United States, and the German government.
The main job of McKinsey is to help companies maintain profitability by closing subsidies, selling assets, shifting production, and laying off workers. McKinsey has had its share of mishaps. Former employees include Jeff Skilling, the disgraced chief executive of Enron and Rajat K. Gupta, who was convicted of insider trading. Other disasters include advising Time Warner on its ill-fated merger with AOL, advising General Motors on how to compete with Japanese automakers, and advising AT&T not to be concerned about cellphones. A top McKinsey partner dismissed these failures saying "We are advisers, and it is management's job to take all the advice they receive and make their own decisions. Not to say that McKinsey told me to do this."
I think a fair question to ask is, do we want the business model that led to the Eron scam and these other corporate disasters employed in operating American schools and McKinsey's no-fault attitude toward advising local, state, and federal governments on educational policy?
Pearson's Affordable Learning division currently focuses on emerging markets in Africa and India, but it is the model for Pearson business worldwide. It includes eAdvance (South Africa), which sponsors a blended learning chain called Spark Schools; Omega, a chain of thirty-eight private schools in Ghana; Bridge International Academies in Kenya; and Zaya, an educational technology and service company contracted to operate twenty-seven schools; Suiksha, a chain of pre-schools; Experifun, which markets science learning products; Avanti, after-school test prep; and Village Capital (Edupreneurs) promoting private education start-up companies, all based in India. The blurb for eAdvance's Spark Schools give some sense of what Pearson is trying to do in Africa, India and worldwide - under price the market to disrupt existing educational institutions so Pearson companies can move in, take over, and gobble up profits.
"SPARK Schools has bold aspirations to disrupt the South African education system through introducing an innovative learning methodology to the African continent. In the SPARK Schools model, students split their time between digital content that adapts in difficulty to their learning and classroom interaction based on best practice pedagogy. Importantly, the blended model also allows eAdvance to deliver high quality education at an affordable price." It will "build eight low-cost blended learning schools over the next three years, and more than 60 in the next ten."
Pearson is also using mergers to expand its markets and influence. In December 2013, Pearson agreed to purchase Grupo Multi, an English-language training company in Brazil, to accelerate growth in Latin America.
Pearson uses the desperation of Third World countries to modernize to get its foot in the door and to act without regulation or oversight. Up until now, about sixty percent of Pearson's sales were in the United States, however expansion stalled in this country because of lower freshman enrollments in U.S. colleges and a slowdown in textbook markets. Sales also suffered in Great Britain because of curriculum changes and the company spent about $200 million organizing its push into foreign digital markets.
As a result of these issues, Moody's Investors Service, a ratings agency, lowered its evaluation of Pearson from stable to negative. "We are changing the outlook to negative as Pearson's debt protection metrics for fiscal year 2013 are likely to weaken considerably," says According to Gunjan Dixit, a Moody's Assistant Vice President-Analyst, "This view reflects Pearson's tough trading conditions, particularly in North America and the UK; the greater-than-originally-anticipated spending on restructuring; and certain start-up costs for new contracts in higher education and increased provisions for returns." According to Moody's, key challenges for Pearson in the future include (1) the fiscal health of U.S. states and international government funding bodies, in its schools and higher education businesses; (2) difficult market conditions in the U.S. education market; (3) the vulnerability of its Financial Times group; and (4) the accelerating transition of trade book publishing to electronic formats. Pearson stockholders were so disappointed in the company's financial performance that in April 2014, shareholders protested against excessive executive bonuses.
In the United States, Pearson faces other problems that may be related to over expansion, the inability to deliver what was promised, and possible under the table agreements on contracts. In Florida, state officials blamed Pearson Education when at least a dozen Florida school districts were forced to suspend online testing this April because students had trouble signing in for the test. for the situation. Other problems included slowness when students tried to download test questions or submit answers and an inexplicable warning message that students should notify their teacher or proctor about a problem that did not exist. "State Education Commissioner Pam Stewart complained to Pearson that the "failure is inexcusable. Florida's students and teachers work too hard on learning to be distracted by these needless and avoidable technological issues."
Pearson blamed the test problems on a third-party hosting service provider. However, in recent years Pearson has had similar problems with computerized tests in Florida before as well as in other states. In 2011, Wyoming fined Pearson $5.1 million because of software problems and then switched back to paper tests. In April, Pearson was also forced to acknowledge and apologize for "intermittent disruptions to some of our online testing services." This time they blamed a different sub-contractor.
In the meantime, the American Institutes for Research is challenging the awarding of a lucrative common core test development contract to Pearson. While the complaint is being brought in New Mexico, it has national ramification. The contract is for developing test-items, test delivery, reporting results, and analysis of student performance for states that are part of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, one of two main consortia designing tests linked to the common-core standards. The plaintiff claims the process for awarding the contract was designed to specifically benefit Pearson, which ended up being the only bidder, and was therefore illegal.
In New York State, parents and teachers are outraged because teachers and building administrators are forced to sign statements promising not to discuss or release questions about new Pearson "Common Core" aligned high-stakes tests. In the past, questions from past state high school "Regents" exams were posted on the State Education website. Now Pearson, which is paid $32 million by New York State to create the tests is demanding a payment of an additional $8 million to permit the state to post the questions.
In New Zealand, a group called Save Our Schools NZ is protesting the misuse of PISA (Programme of International Student Assessment) tests and rankings by national education departments. They charge "Pisa, with its three-year assessment cycle, has caused a shift of attention to short-term fixes designed to help a country quickly climb the rankings, despite research showing that enduring changes in education practice take decades, not a few years, to come to fruition." Pearson holds the contract to prepare PISA assessments starting in 2015.
For all its claims about efficacy, Pearson is not a very efficient company. For all its claims about valuing education, the only thing Pearson appears to value is profit.