CINDY WALSH FOR GOVERNOR IS THE ONLY CANDIDATE FIGHTING AGAINST THESE REFORMS AND FOR STRONG FUNDING AND RESOURCING FOR COMMUNITY-LED PUBLIC SCHOOLS.
Today I wanted to look at the Maryland approach to education reform but also how the process of public policy debate has become so captured as to exclude any public input from the citizens of Maryland. Remember, Maryland is moving quickly to privatizing all public agencies and this allows only the corporations tied with these partnerships writing the policy. In this case it is education reform and Race to the Top.
I like to give people a broad history of education reform over decades because that let's us have historical perspective and as a baby boomer graduating with education degrees in early 1990, I was right at the last education reform of 1990. Reagan/Clinton embraced neo-liberalism meaning they were leaving the social democratic structure of first world thriving economy and moving to empire-building global free markets and a return of wealth to the few. This meant dismantling a strong public education system that gave highly educated citizens ready to work in leadership positions in government and business. They envisioned the middle-age structure of only the rich attaining the higher education and the 99% of people tracked into vocation.....pre-Age of Enlightenment. To do that Reagan/Clinton with the help of the same Ivy League schools giving us Race to the Top installed an education reform that took text books out of classrooms because they 'stifled' creativity and told teachers to allow calculators in math classes at the earliest age because they said 'people are now only going to need to push a button for math'. So, Stanford and Ivy League schools became rich selling lessons without textbooks and of course Hewlett Packard and the calculator corporations went wild. The results for these students we know------children graduating unable to read and do math. THEY TOOK A HIGHLY EDUCATED SOCIETY DOWN TO THE WORST OF ACHIEVEMENT WITH THIS 1990 EDUCATION REFORM.
Reagan reversed what was a progressive tax structure by lowering corporate and wealth taxes so much that education funding would not be sustained at levels that had the US ranked #1 in the world so this breakdown in education was leading to the defunding that followed. So, from 1990 to this roll-out of Race to the Top education funding dropped considerably taking resources and opportunity from the classrooms until today......corporations paying nothing in tax but now using our tax revenue as corporate subsidy the citizens are reduced to begging for school funding.
THIS IS WHY PUBLIC EDUCATION IS NOT DOING ITS JOB----AND IT WAS DELIBERATE. WE WENT FROM THE MOST HIGHLY EDUCATED NATION TO THE LOWEST RANKED WITH THE REAGAN/CLINTON REFORM.
Now, the same Ivy League schools are back for round two of ending public education in America. Citizens are desperate for good schools and now corporate education reforms pretend to give it to the people with all kinds of education businesses. THERE GOES PUBLIC EDUCATION! All we need to do is return to what worked before 1990 reform to return to a thriving public education system and none of it involved corporate education businesses, testing, and data.
Look below to see the players in Maryland pushing this current education reform that wants to hand all public education to businesses. First, we need to identify Johns Hopkins as the institution behind this most severe of privatization efforts and we have this in Baltimore. Let's start with Nancy Grasmick who as you see is now working at Johns Hopkins but she was the Maryland Education Superintendent throughout the Reagan/Clinton dumbing down of America. When I moved to Baltimore several years ago I interviewed parents, teachers, and administrators to get a feel of education in this area and it was very clear-----THEY ALL HATED WHAT WAS HAPPENING. PARENTS BACK IN 2006 WERE DEMANDING THE QUALITY OF EDUCATION RISE. Nancy's job was taking a first world high quality education system and make it fail. She did her job as Maryland's state tests are some of the weakest in the country and education stats are massaged to make performance look better than it is. You cannot hide widespread math and reading deficiency. Let's have Nancy on the panel about failed education policy they say!
NANCY GRASMICK IS THE FACE OF CORPORATE AMERICA'S DISMANTLING OF A STRONG PUBLIC EDUCATION AND NOW SHE WORKS AT JOHNS HOPKINS---THE INSTITUTION PUSHING THESE REFORMS.
Sean Johnson's Overview
- Assistant Executive Director for Political and Legislative Affairs at Maryland State Education Association
- Campaign Specialist at National Education Association
- Deputy Political Director at Hillary Clinton for President
- Vice President at Mack Crounse Group, LLC
The Maryland State Education Association is merely the product of who the Governor at the time appoints to head Maryland Education. So, if Cindy Walsh for Governor of Maryland was elected I would appoint strong public education people to Maryland Education but O'Malley who works for Johns Hopkins appointed strong education privatizers so Sean Johnson will push these Race to the Top and Common Core policies for all he is worth. As you see Sean is tied with the Clinton's -----the one's creating this mess in education and who better to lead the effort to fix education then the people who killed it. Mack Crounce Group is a real estate/investment firm from Florida and has nothing to do with education. Sean Johnson appears to have a job as top education appointee with only business/political science background and yet------Sean Johnson is on this education panel.
Maryland CAN is a state organization that makes school privatization its goal. My few contacts with MD CAN had this organization talking to parents with special needs and underserved schools telling them these reforms were good and all of the bad public schools in Baltimore were the result of bad teachers. Below you see that Jason Botel is directly connected to the largest charter chain in the country----KIPP. It also has a record as the worst in exclusion, hiding/skewing achievement data, and more talk than walk. The Maryland Assembly wants this private charter chain to take over in Baltimore so badly it selectively assigned scholarship money to this KIPP chain only for higher education. So, yet another education privatizer on this panel discussion on education policy in Maryland.
Jason Botel's Experience Executive Director KIPP Baltimore Educational Institution; 51-200 employees; Education Management industry
July 2002 – Present (11 years 11 months)
Lindsey Burke of the Heritage Foundation
Well, taking America's schools private is a republican policy and indeed much of what Obama and neo-liberals in Congress are passing as policy originates from this most conservative of foundations----the Heritage Foundation. So, if you are going to talk about concerns over the education reform and people hating it----you would want the people responsible for writing these policies there to give unbiased discussion. I want to caution those conservatives out there to watch for what you wish because if you like charters and control over your schools what these people have in mind takes all control away----Wall Street charter chains will control all and will not care less about what is good for the child----only giving what the corporations need.
FREE-MARKET SCHOOLS LIKE FREE MARKET FINANCE? YOU BETCHA!!!!!! WE ALREADY HAVE FOR-PROFIT HIGHER EDUCATION INFUSED WITH FRAUD AND CORRUPTION.
Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation is a research and educational institution—a think tank—whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.
Nina Rees is obviously a charter school advocate----
Dallas Dance straight from what is basically already a third world country----TEXAS. Texas is one of the first to develop Teach for America and schools as businesses models as a raging corporate state. Texas wants to remove 'public' from its library system for goodness sake. So Dance was brought to Baltimore area to install the next stage of reform----getting all students connected to online lessons and creating the cheapest education for the buck. This was Alonzo's task as education quality went nowhere but all the structures for making schools into businesses happened during Alonzo's term. Dance has absolutely no administrative ability, he openly misleads the public and controls public discussion like any Chinese autocrat. Dance is captured through and through to this school as business mentality. This is a panelist on education policy in Maryland.
I encourage Maryland citizens to either attend this forum or protest outside and the most public of forums will include only people wanting these reforms to continue and the price of $35 to enter a public policy forum is ridiculous. People can go to a national policy event at the Brookings Institution for free!
Maryland Policy Forum > Forum > Maryland Public Education: The Challenges Ahead Maryland Public Education: The Challenges Ahead
Debate summary Share: The Maryland Public Policy Institute hosts a debate on Common Core, universal Pre-K and the role of charter schools. Common Core is a subject of hot debate from all sides of the political spectrum, universal Pre-K is on the platform of a number of gubernatorial candidates as well as a topic of national discussion since President Obama noted it in his State of the Union speech, and Maryland’s charter law because it is one of the most restrictive in the nation. We think this heavy hitting group of panelists will not only draw a big crowd, but shed both light and heat on how to improve public education for all in Maryland. Join us for a reception at 6 pm, while the program begins at 7 pm. Sponsorships Available: Please contact Hillary Pennington at (240) 686-3510 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sean Johnson Maryland State Education Association
Dr. Nancy Grasmick Kennedy Krieger Institute
Jason Botel MarylandCAN
Lindsey Burke The Heritage Foundation
Nina Rees National Alliance for Public Charter Schools
Dr. Dallas Dance Superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools
Obama and Wall Street used Bush's No Child Left Behind and controlled Federal Education funding to force states to move these policies forward and much of these policies are not legal. Tying Federal funding of public schools to policy not generated by Congress is unheard of. OBAMA WAS NOT ALLOWED TO DO THIS.
Crashing the economy with so much debt created from massive corporate fraud of government coffers set the stage for forcing these policies on states. The first thing Maryland would have done was to take this Federal funding threat to court as it is illegal. Maryland unfortunately had O'Malley in place as Governor and Gansler in place as Maryland Attorney General ready to move these policies forward. IT MATTERS WHO YOU ELECT.
CINDY WALSH FOR GOVERNOR WILL TAKE ALL OF THIS PROCESS TO COURT TO STOP THIS POWER GRAB.
Obama's Race to the Top Will Not Improve Education Posted: 08/ 1/10 01:27 PM ET React
President Obama spoke to the National Urban League this week and defended his "Race to the Top" program, which has become increasingly controversial. Mr. Obama insisted that it was the most important thing he had done in office, and that critics were merely clinging to the status quo.
Mr. Obama was unfazed by the scathing critique of the Race by the nation's leading civil rights organizations, who insisted that access to federal funding should be based on need, not competition.
The program contains these key elements: Teachers will be evaluated in relation to their students' test scores. Schools that continue to get low test scores will be closed or turned into charter schools or handed over to private management. In low-performing schools, principals will be fired, and all or half of the staff will be fired. States are encouraged to create many more privately managed charter schools.
All of these elements are problematic. Evaluating teachers in relation to student test scores will have many adverse consequences. It will make the current standardized tests of basic skills more important than ever, and even more time and resources will be devoted to raising scores on these tests. The curriculum will be narrowed even more than under George W. Bush's No Child Left Behind, because of the link between wages and scores. There will be even less time available for the arts, science, history, civics, foreign language, even physical education. Teachers will teach to the test. There will be more cheating, more gaming the system.
Furthermore, charter schools on average do not get better results than regular public schools, yet Obama and Duncan are pushing them hard. Duncan acknowledges that there are many mediocre or bad charter schools, but chooses to believe that in the future, the new charters will only be high performing ones. Right.
The President should re-examine his reliance on standardized testing to identify the best teachers and schools and the worst teachers and schools. The tests are simply not adequate to their expectations.
The latest example of how test results can be doctored is the New York state testing scandal, which broke open this week. The pass rates on the state tests had soared year after year, to the point where they became ridiculous to all but the credulous The whole house of cards came crashing down this week after the state raised the proficiency bar from the low point to which it had sunk. In 2009, 86.4% of the state's students were "proficient" in math, but the number in 2010 plummeted to 61%. In 2009, 77.4% were "proficient" in reading, but now it is only 53.2%.
The latest test scores were especially startling for New York City, where Mayor Michael Bloomberg staked his reputation on their meteoric rise. He was re-elected because of the supposedly historic increase in test scores and used them to win renewal of mayoral control. But now, the city's pass rate in reading for grades 3-8 fell from 68.8% to 42.4%, and the proficiency rate in math sunk from an incredible 81.8% to a dismal 54%.
When the mayor ran for office, he said that mayoral control would mean accountability. If things went wrong, the public would know whom to blame.
But now that the truth about score inflation is out, Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Klein steadfastly insist that the gains recorded on their watch did not go up in smoke, that progress was real, and they have reiterated this message through their intermediaries in the tabloids. In other words, they are using every possible rationalization and excuse to avoid accountability for the collapse of their "historic gains."
Meanwhile Secretary Duncan travels the country urging districts to adopt mayoral control, so they can emulate New York City. He carefully avoids mentioning Cleveland, which has had mayoral control for years and remains one of the lowest performing districts in the nation. Nor does he mention that Detroit had mayoral control and ended it. And it is hard to imagine that anyone would think of Chicago, which has been controlled by Mayor Richard Daley for many years, would serve as a national model.
President Obama and Secretary Duncan need to stop and think. They are heading in the wrong direction. On their present course, they will end up demoralizing teachers, closing schools that are struggling to improve, dismantling the teaching profession, destabilizing communities, and harming public education.
There was plenty of journalism against these reforms from both sides of the political aisle. NO ONE WANTED THIS. As you see below the reasoning for the reforms was based purely on the ideals of free market and running schools like businesses. That was what Alonzo's tenure in Baltimore was all about with education achievements falling even as they massage the data. Dance will do the same in Baltimore County.
Look as well at the so-called public debate issue here in Maryland to see----THERE IS NO PUBLIC DEBATE.....ALL PUBLIC DEBATES ARE SELECTED PANELISTS WHO SIMPLY REPRESENT THE CORPORATE VIEW. This is critical folks. If you do not fight for your rights as citizens.....you will become third world peasants.
SADLY THINGS ARE SO CAPTURED IN MARYLAND WE HAVE THE AFL-CIO AND THE BALTIMORE TEACHER'S UNION CAMPAIGNING FOR ANTHONY BROWN-----THE VERY PERSON WHO AS GOVERNOR WILL CONTINUE THIS PRIVATIZATION.
Posted at 11:47 AM ET, 10/23/2009
Educator: 'Race to the Top's' 10 false assumptions
By Valerie Strauss My guest today is Marion Brady, veteran teacher, administrator, curriculum designer and author. He writes about Education Secretary's Arne Duncan's "Race to the Top" initiative, which is intended to be the successor to "No Child Left Behind."
By Marion Brady
"Race to the Top? National standards for math, science, and other school subjects? The high-powered push to put them in place makes it clear that the politicians, business leaders, and wealthy philanthropists who’ve run America’s education show for the last two decades are as clueless about educating as they’ve always been.
If they weren’t, they’d know that adopting national standards will be counterproductive, and that the "Race to the Top" will fail for the same reason "No Child Left Behind" failed—because it’s based on false assumptions.
False Assumption 1:
America’s teachers deserve most of the blame for decades of flat school performance. Other factors affecting learning—language problems, hunger, stress, mass media exposure, transience, cultural differences, a sense of hopelessness, and so on and on—are minor and can be overcome by well-qualified teachers. To teacher protests that they’re scapegoats taking the blame for broader social ills, the proper response is, "No excuses!" While it’s true teachers can’t choose their students, textbooks, working conditions, curricula, tests, or the bureaucracies that circumscribe and limit their autonomy, they should be held fully accountable for poor student test scores.
False Assumption 2:
Professional educators are responsible for bringing education to crisis, so they can’t be trusted. School systems should instead be headed by business CEOs, mayors, ex-military officers, and others accustomed to running a "tight ship." Their managerial expertise more than compensates for how little they know about educating.
False Assumption 3:
"Rigor"—doing longer and harder what we’ve always done—will cure education’s ills. If the young can’t clear arbitrary statistical bars put in place by politicians, it makes good sense to raise those bars. Because learning is neither natural nor a source of joy, externally imposed discipline and "tough love" are necessary.
False Assumption 4:
Teaching is just a matter of distributing information. Indeed, the process is so simple that recent college graduates, fresh from "covering" that information, should be encouraged to join "Teach For America" for a couple of years before moving on to more intellectually demanding professions. Experienced teachers may argue that, as Socrates demonstrated, nothing is more intellectually demanding than figuring out what’s going on in another person’s head, then getting that person herself or himself to examine and change it, but they’re just blowing smoke.
False Assumption 5:
Notwithstanding the failure of vast experiments such as those conducted in eastern Europe under Communism, and the evidence from ordinary experience, history proves that top-down reforms such as No Child Left Behind work well. Centralized control doesn’t stifle creativity, imply teacher incompetence, limit strategy options, discourage innovation, or block the flow of information and insight to policymakers from those actually doing the work.
False Assumption 6:
Standardized tests are free of cultural, social class, language, experiential, and other biases, so test-taker ability to infer, hypothesize, generalize, relate, synthesize, and engage in all other "higher order" thought processes can be precisely measured and meaningful numbers attached. It’s also a fact that test-prep programs don’t unfairly advantage those who can afford them, that strategies to improve the reliability of guessing correct answers can’t be taught, and that test results can’t be manipulated to support political or ideological agendas. For these reasons, test scores are reliable, and should be the primary drivers of education policy.
False Assumption 7:
Notwithstanding the evidence from research and decades of failed efforts, forcing merit pay schemes on teachers will revitalize America’s schools. This is because the desire to compete is the most powerful of all human drives (more powerful even than the satisfactions of doing work one loves). The effectiveness of, say, band directors and biology teachers, or of history teachers and math teachers, can be easily measured and dollar amounts attached to their relative skill. Merit pay also has no adverse effect on collegiality, teacher-team dynamics, morale, or school politics.
False Assumption 8:
Required courses, course distribution requirements, Carnegie Units, and other bureaucratic demands and devices that standardize the curriculum and limit teacher and learner options are products of America’s best thinkers about what the young need to know. Those requirements should, then, override individual learner interests, talents, abilities, and all other factors affecting freedom of choice.
False Assumption 9:
Notwithstanding charter schools’ present high rates of teacher turnover, their growing standardization by profit-seeking corporations, or their failure to demonstrate that they can do things all public schools couldn’t do if freed from bureaucratic constraints, charters attract the most highly qualified and experienced teachers and are hotbeds of innovation.
False Assumption 10:
The familiar, traditional "core curriculum" in near-universal use in America’s classrooms since 1893 is the best-possible tool for preparing the young for an unknown, unpredictable, increasingly complex and dangerous future.
"Human history," said H.G. Wells, "is a race between education and catastrophe."
If amateurs continue to control American education policy, put your money on catastrophe. It’s a sure thing.