VOTE YOUR THIRD WAY CORPORATE DEMOCRAT OUT OF OFFICE!!!!!
RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE NEXT ELECTIONS!!!
Marylander's have watched as the state sends billions to build these corporate universities while the public fights for insufficient funds for all public schools. We will not prosper under private schools.....they are only motivated by profit and not what will be best for your child. CHARTER SCHOOLS, TEACH FOR AMERICA, THIS KIND OF TESTING AND EVALUATION......IS NOT GOOD EDUCATION POLICY!!! All of Maryland's democrats are supporting this and these private education non-profits are designed to embrace these policies.
Unified Backlash to Education Mandates Grows, Spreads
“It’s always hard to tell for sure exactly when a revolution starts,” wrote John Tierny in The Atlantic recently. “I’m not an expert on revolutions,” he continued, “but even I can see that a new one is taking shape in American K-12 public education.”
Tierney pointed to a number of signs of the coming “revolution:”
- Teachers refusing to give standardized tests, parents opting their kids out of tests, and students boycotting tests.
- Legislators reconsidering testing and expressing concerns about corruption in the testing industry.
- Voucher and other “choice” proposals being strongly contested and voted down in states that had been friendly to them.
Echoing Tierney, on the pages of Slate, The Nation, and elsewhere, David Kirp, education professor and author of a popular new book casting doubt on competitive driven, market-based school reform, declared that cheating scandals and parent rebellions over high stakes standardized testing were proof that much ballyhooed reform policies championed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Education Secretary Arne Duncan are not “a proven – or even a promising – way to make schools better.”
Kirp declared that mounting evidence from school reform efforts in major U.S. metropolitan areas reveals “it’s a terrible time for advocates of market-driven reform in public education. For more than a decade, their strategy – which makes teachers’ careers turn on student gains in reading and math tests, and promotes competition through charter schools and vouchers – has been the dominant policy mantra. But now the cracks are showing.”
In a legislative view, the Progressive State Network, which supports left-leaning state legislators and monitors legislative policy in state houses, noticed “a backlash is brewing in many states as more and more parents and legislators alike start asking questions about corporate education reform.” The post on PSN’s website referenced Tierney’s article and highlighted a Minnesota bill that eliminates testing requirements for graduation and several states that are embroiled in battles to defeat measures known as the “parent trigger,” which enables private takeovers of public schools.
These observations are not alarmist chatter but well-reasoned, valid conclusions that anti-government collectivist actions related to public school policy are scaling up from isolated protests to a nationwide movement of unified resistance.
The movement is widespread among teachers, students, and parents. It is grassroots driven and way out in front of most journalists and political leaders. And it’s scaling up in intensity.
A Teacher-Student-Parent Movement
For quite some time now, education historian and reform opponent Diane Ravitch has written about the ever expanding discontent among teachers over the emphasis on standardized testing and test-based teacher evaluation and school rating systems.
As proof of this discontent, Ravitch has closely followed and commented on a boycott against standardized testing among teachers in Seattle, an ongoing protest among principals in New York state against new teacher evaluations, and objections to the “testing beast” among educators and parents in Texas.
In ever-greater numbers, however, students are also leading the resistance. A recent article in The Nation reported on the growing student resistance movement driven by grievances over austerity budgets and systemic racism.
From all corners of the country – North Carolina to Philadelphia to Louisiana to Chicago – students as young as eight years old are organizing and taking part in a variety of actions including zombie protests, school walkouts and sit-ins, and acts of defiance like the recent rant by a high school student in Texas that went viral over the Internet when he castigated a seemingly indifferent teacher for dispensing education in “packets” rather than engaging the class in meaningful, relevant learning.
In Chicago, youth voice is forming in grassroots groups like CSOSOS (Chicago Students Organizing To Save Our Schools) and VOYCE (Voices of Youth in Chicago Education) that have led prominent, headline-earning protests to school closures, teacher firings, and over emphasis on high-stakes testing.
In Philadelphia, a handful of students used their social media and organizing skills to whip up student resentment and send hundreds of students into the streets to protest budget cuts to their favorite education programs.
In Denver, high schoolers have formed Students4OurSchools and staged walkouts protesting the over-emphasis on standardized testing.
Students in Philadelphia, Providence, Rhode Island, Portland, Oregon, and elsewhere have formed student unions that have developed attention-getting tactics, which have spread to a national scale. These student organizations’ Facebook pages speak in unison against school closures and cutbacks, widespread teacher firings, and top-down implementations of mandated standards and high-stakes testing.
In many places, teachers and parents are supporting rebellious students and even joining in the protests. Grassroots parent groups, in fact, have been the driving force behind efforts to beat back school voucher proposals in Tennessee and parent trigger legislation in Florida.
Resistance is particularly vehement in low-income communities of color in large urban school districts where reform measures have lead to widespread teacher firings and school closings. In Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City, Cleveland, and Detroit, vocal protestors have been organizing in their own communities but also uniting in national campaigns, such as this year’s Journey for Justice effort that brought hundreds of activists in allied grassroots organizations to the White House to protest school closings.
Unlike school reform proponents who benefit from massive donations from rich foundations and politically connected funders, grassroots groups leading the resistance – like the Alliance for Educational Justice and Alliance for Quality Education – have far humbler means and few connections to the political class and deep pocketed philanthropists like Bill Gates.
Nevertheless, these groups have generated strong outpourings of popular dissent and produced important analyses of the duplicity of the reform agenda.
A Movement Getting More Recognition
Mostly, grassroots-led protests against education mandates have gotten little attention from even the few media outlets and reporters focused on education.
That changed, however, when the head of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, called for a moratorium on the consequences of high-stakes testing related to the Common Core.
All of a sudden, when there was a crack in the conventional wisdom that education policy was a centrist agreement between teachers’ unions and conservative belief tanks, many education bloggers and journalists decided the school accountability movement had reached a surprising new level of intensity.
Long-time education journalist Dana Goldstein speculated on her blog that Weingarten’s moratorium call is proof that education matters that were once considered products of a “coalition” of centrist-minded – although mostly conservative – wonks and Beltway operatives are now points of strong contention.
Her conclusion was that these differences represent a “deep divide” among the political class about whether it’s a good idea to “scare us into meaningful school reform.”
Another experienced education journalist, Sam Chaltain also reflected on his blog on calls for a testing moratorium. He recalled that after Barak Obama was elected, Obama proceeded with “a series of education policies that further entrenched America’s reliance on reading and math scores as a proxy for whole-school evaluation.”
Critics of those policies “vented,” Chaltain explained, but “policymakers nodded. And absent any real noise, the tests continued.” But with this more recent backlash to education mandates, Chaltain observed, “policymakers have been unable to ignore a groundswell of noise and resistance.”
Chaltain concluded that conflicts over school policy had “reached a tipping point.”
Similarly, veteran education reporter at Education Week Michelle McNeil observed, “Not since the battles over school desegregation has the debate about public education been so intense and polarized.”
McNeil sourced the polarity to the conventional wisdom that public education is “an institution that historically is slow to change,” and now it’s being “forced to deal with so much change at once.” And she asserts that the controversy over change is mostly “about centralization or decentralization” of specific “reform” efforts.
But what Goldstein, McNeil, and others on the sidelines fail to grasp is that the pushback against the nation’s education policy is not new. The “polarization” is not “obscuring” the issues – as McNeil contends – it’s clarifying them. And the “debate” over education has broken free from being an issue confined to “fringes” and “policy elites” to take its rightful place at the center of “a growing, broader backlash.”
Indeed, just like the fight to integrate public schools was connected to the larger struggle for civil rights, fights to preserve and strengthen public schools – whether they take the form of students walking out of class to protest education cuts, parents fighting against deceptively named “empowerment” policies, or teachers boycotting standardized tests – are connected to much larger struggles over what kind of nation America is becoming.
A Leadership Out Of Touch
The growing rebellion to education mandates has been driven mostly by grassroots groups formed first among low-income communities of color, but now the movement is extending to people of greater means and social-political capacity like parent groups that worked an inside game with state legislators to thwart implementation of the Common Core standards in Indiana, block parent trigger bills in Florida, and curb the emphasis on high stakes testing in Texas.
This unification of the grassroots with the “grass tops” in education is not well understood in the media or among policy elites.
In fact, people in charge of education governance appear to be more clueless than ever about what they are intent on accomplishing and legislating.
Witness the recent confession from one of the movement’s most influential leaders, Bridgeport, Conn., school chief Paul Vallas. As Valerie Struass reported at her blog on The Washington Post, Vallas has led reform efforts in Chicago, Philadelphia, and New Orleans that have become blueprints for education policy ideas across the country. Yet he admitted that the policies he has championed are resulting in a “nightmare” of complexity.
Reportedly, he characterized his efforts to enact test-based teacher evaluations as a feature of a “testing industrial complex” and “a system where you literally have binders on individual teachers with rubrics that are so complicated … that they’ll just make you suicidal.”
Vallas’ newfound doubts over what he has created reflected other confusing comments from education policy leaders. Most notable was the commentary by Bill Gates, widely acknowledged as a leader in the movement to base teacher evaluations and school ratings on student test scores, warning against the “rush to implement new teacher development and evaluation systems” based on test scores.
Even more perplexing was Secretary Duncan’s recent inability to deliver a straight answer about parent trigger bills. As Beltway gadfly Alexander Russo recently reported, “Duncan described the trigger as ‘an important tool’ for parent involvement — but not the only or even the most important one” – whatever that means.
Compared to authentic grassroots outpourings for resources, equity, and real democracy, these equivocations from education policy leaders are puny and venal to say the least.
Intensity Is Building
“Scared” or not, recalling Goldstein’s comment, activists driving protests against the nation’s prevailing education policies are ratcheting the fight to unprecedented intensity that will likely become even more forceful in future efforts.
Later this month, for instance, teachers in Chicago are planning a citywide three-day march to protest impending school closures. Education related bills in state legislatures in California, Texas, New York, North Carolina, and elsewhere will be highly visible points of contention. And actions to protest the imminent doubling of college loan debt interest rates – certainly an issue related to public education – are generating a unified response from hundreds of thousands of Americans.
Clearly, the resistance to top-down education mandates is building. The movement is propelled by forces far greater than what education journalists and policy leaders understand – widespread grievances about inequity, unfairness, and public disempowerment.
The revolt is happening. The revolt is now.
THE WASHINGTON BELTWAY IS WEALTH AND POWER AND THE COURTS REFLECT THIS SO IT IS NOT SURPRISING TO HAVE A JUDGE QUESTIONING THIS FIGHT FOR SCHOOLS. WE ALL KNOW THAT THE CHILDREN REPLACED ARE NOT GETTING INTO THE 'GOOD' SCHOOLS PRETENDED.
WHERE ARE THE LAWSUITS ACROSS THE COUNTRY IN CITIES HAVING FUNCTIONING JUSTICE ORGANIZATIONS??!!
Judge sharply questions activists seeking to block D.C. school closures
By Emma Brown,May 10, 2013
A federal judge had several sharp and skeptical questions Friday for D.C. education activists who have sued to halt the planned closure of 15 city schools.
Opponents argue that the closures would disproportionately affect poor and minority children and therefore violate a number of civil rights laws. In a packed U.S. District courtroom Friday, they pleaded for a preliminary injunction to block the closures, citing “irreparable harm” to children if the plan put forth by Chancellor Kaya Henderson is allowed to move forward.
But Judge James E. Boasberg raised concerns about that argument. Minutes after the hearing began, he referred to a sheaf of statistics demonstrating that most of the children affected by closures are slated to attend schools with higher test scores and more racial diversity than the schools they’re leaving behind.
“The whole purpose of going to school, for these kids, is to receive a good education, correct?” Boasberg said. “It seems to me that the schools they’re transferring into are a whole lot better.”
Attorney Jamie B. Raskin, arguing on behalf of five plaintiffs with the community group Empower D.C., said Boasberg’s question sidestepped the central point of the lawsuit.
“The point is that having a neighborhood school is a precious public resource and a precious public benefit that we think should not be distributed along the lines of race and class,” said Raskin, a constitutional law professor and Democratic Maryland state senator.
Thirteen schools are slated to close in June and two more in 2014.
The move will displace more than 2,700 children, almost all of whom are African American or Hispanic.
District attorneys on Friday denied that the closures are discriminatory, describing them as an effort to improve education across the city. Children have no constitutional right to a neighborhood school, they said, and having students move to a new school does not deprive them of services.
Henderson, who in January announced her intent to close the schools, has long said that the school system must close buildings left half-empty after four decades of declining enrollment. Under-enrolled schools are expensive and inefficient to operate, according to the chancellor, who was in the courtroom Friday but did not speak during the proceedings and declined to comment afterward.
Boasberg, whose brother is the superintendent of Denver Public Schools, asked the plaintiffs repeatedly to explain when a school system leader could ever legally close a school with a higher-than-average percentage of minority children.
Ads by Google
Apply to Become A NurseApply To Our Nursing School And Earn Your Degree at a Local Campus. Chamberlain.edu
Raskin said the problem is not the closing of individual schools, but a historical pattern of closing schools in poor and minority neighborhoods.
Schools in affluent areas west of Rock Creek Park have been under-enrolled at times over the past several decades, he said, but remained open.
Sitting in the courtroom were many school-closure opponents who had rallied outside the courthouse before the hearing. When Boasberg asked whether the plaintiffs’ attorneys believed that Henderson — who is African American — intended to discriminate against black and Hispanic children, some in the audience responded “Yes!”
Boasberg continued, asking whether the attorneys believed that African American leaders in other cities where schools are closing, such as Philadelphia and Chicago, also intend to discriminate.
“Yes!” the audience said again before the judge quieted the courtroom.
Raskin then stepped in, saying that plaintiffs are not accusing Henderson of racial hatred but are highlighting a pattern of discrimination that grows out of the District’s history as a segregated city. That history is “now fundamentally impairing people’s ability to have an equal right to a neighborhood school,” he said.
The plaintiffs also said that the city failed to give proper notice of the closure plan to Advisory Neighborhood Commission members. Boasberg said he had concerns about whether plaintiffs had legal standing to sue on those grounds.
The judge said he would issue a decision on the preliminary injunction next week.
Here you see how a Department of Labor appointee who is Third Way looks at job training as opposed to a labor and justice appointee. Labor unions have apprenticeship programs that have been the best in the world for decades. No taxpayer money....the unions and businesses pay for on-the-job training. What corporate democrats are doing is handing all these costs to taxpayers and making public community college corporate job training centers. So a huge hunk of public education spending is going to subsidize corporate profits. THIS IS THIRD WAY CORPORATE POLICY COURTESY OBAMA AND CAPITOL HILL. That is why Obama chose Maryland's Perez because Maryland and O'Malley have placed all our public higher education on corporate overdrive with Perez as State Labor Secretary!!
May 14, 2013 - 3:00am By Paul Fain
Inside Higher Ed
Most community colleges could easily put federal grant money to good use plugging up budget holes after years of slashing by states. But the U.S. Department of Labor’s $2 billion in workforce development funding for the sector was designed to encourage two-year colleges to make lasting, ambitious changes instead of just back-filling budgets. And that approach seems to be working.
The 15 community colleges in Massachusetts, for example, have shared $20 million from the Labor Department to create new or redesigned credentials, which are aimed at unemployed or underemployed adults.
The colleges have also used the money to sharpen their focus on career services. Rather than just trying to help students find jobs as they finish degree programs, each one has hired a full-time “career and college navigator” to lend a hand to students throughout their time on campus.
Ana Sanchez, the new navigator at Springfield Technical Community College, describes herself as a matchmaker between students and local employers, including hospitals, government agencies and local companies.
Her most important role, however, might be helping students cope with the demands of their daily lives, including childcare, managing their finances and figuring out how to commute between jobs and school. “It’s really important to help them with those challenges,” said Sanchez.
Under the program, the state’s community colleges have worked with employers to create accelerated training for students in six targeted industries: health care, advanced manufacturing, IT, biotechnology, green energy and financial services. The colleges have called the three-year program the Massachusetts Community Colleges and Workforce Development Transformation Agenda.
That grant is one of many that have gone to consortiums. But a few individual colleges also received grants. (Lists of grantees are available here and here. And see box for a few notable examples.)
Created in 2010, the package of Labor Department grants is dubbed the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training Program, (TAACCCT, a long acronym even for Washington). It replaced the Obama Administration’s proposed $12 billion American Graduation Initiative that was also aimed at community colleges, but which failed to get Congressional approval.
The Labor Department last month announced the third wave of approximately $500 million in funding under the program, bringing the total so far to $1.5 billion. The last round is slated for next year.
Notable Labor Department grants
North Carolina Advanced Manufacturing Alliance: $19 million for 10 community colleges to address gaps in education and training in advanced manufacturing.
Pennsylvania Consortium of Community Colleges: $20 million for the state's 20 community colleges with an initial focus on electronic medical records technology, advanced manufacturing and renewable energy.
National STEM Consortium: $20 million for 10 community colleges in nine states, which are developing one-year certificates in five high-demand fields with industry partners.
National Information, Security and Geospatial Technology Consortium: $20 million for seven community colleges in six states with focus on advanced IT fields.
Illinois Green Economy Network Career Pathways: $19 million for 17 community colleges to develop training programs in eight green economy industries.
To land a grant, colleges need to make the case that they will quickly create career training paths for high-wage, high-skill jobs. They are also encouraged to experiment with ways to speed up the time students need to spend earning a degree or credential. As a result, the program gives a nudge to prior-learning assessment, competency-based education and stackable credentials, which offer a path for students to duck in and out of college as needed, beginning with short-term certificates earned in as little as one semester.
“This is about encouraging colleges to think more creatively,” said Kathryn Jo Mannes, senior vice president for workforce and economic development at the American Association of Community Colleges. That means building partnerships with industry that will last.
“It’s not just a proposal-writing exercise,” Mannes said of the grants. “They’re meant to survive the exhaustion of federal funds.”
Competencies and Stackable Credentials
By giving priority to larger clusters of colleges, the Labor Department sought to create cooperation that can be rare in higher education. But the broad scope of the grants was initially confusing to some.
For example, with six target industries, the Massachusetts program seemed a bit scattershot at first. But observers said the colleges quickly settled into niches. That means institutions have taken the lead in working with industries that are particularly strong in their backyards, like health care for Boston-area colleges.
Jennifer Freeman, the grant’s project manager, said the overarching goal is to make the state’s community colleges more of a go-to place for technical and middle-income jobs. That’s a shift, she said, because many in the state had viewed the primary purpose of community colleges as being transfer prep for four-year institutions, instead of direct training for jobs.
The presidents of the 15 Massachusetts colleges decided to apply jointly for the money.
“This is the largest thing they have ever done as a consortium,” Freeman said, adding that “it wasn’t called a transformation agenda lightly.”
One of the project’s first steps was to develop a common set of competencies for each featured industry, which were then woven into curriculums. That was hardly an easy task, particularly given the grant’s relatively compressed time frame.
For advanced manufacturing, the final product was a pyramid of competencies employees should ideally master to work at various job levels. The colleges worked with manufacturers statewide to develop those standards.
For example, in the precision machining field, entry-level jobs like assemblers or warehouse workers should have skills in five major areas: shop math, blueprint reading, metrology, problem solving and workplace readiness. But further up the pyramid, supervisors and managers should hold certificates and degrees in manufacturing technology, as well as more learned skills, such as programming, and a minimum number of hours working in the industry.
The project has led to far more than a smattering of new academic offerings. Over all, the colleges plan to create more than 85 new degree, certificate and noncredit programs in the six industry fields. About 2,000 students are currently enrolled in those programs.
Many of the new credentials are designed to be stackable. Freeman said the manufacturing and health care tracks in particular include a series of certificates and degrees for students to build upon as they progress in their jobs.
Angela Bellas, the initiative’s program manager at the Springfield campus, said the college created new short-term certificates in health care for patient care technicians and medical administrative assistants. Most of those credentials will be 16-18 credits, she said, which means they can be earned in a semester or two.
Part of the challenge the Massachusetts colleges have faced is making sure that noncredit programs match up well with credit-bearing ones. That becomes more important in a stackable pathway. Freeman said “colleges are really rolling up their sleeves” to improve articulation between programs.
The first step to a job for students, however, is probably their initial conversations with navigators. Sanchez said many students say they are interested in health care when they first enroll. “Everybody wants to be a nurse,” she said.
Part of her job, Sanchez said, is injecting a dose of reality. She typically asks aspiring nurses about their math and science skills, which are key requirements in nursing. Sanchez makes sure students know how much work it might take to land a job.
“Let’s do baby steps,” she tells them.
In Maryland, K-12 has had to beg for funding and the cost of tuition has climbed over this decade as all education funding was earmarked to create this international system of education in our public colleges. How does this help Maryland citizens? It doesn't. It has Maryland citizens and Federal taxpayers footing the bill for what will become privatized corporate universities. Citizens will have only career community colleges to attend. RUN AND VOTE FOR LABOR AND JUSTICE AND REVERSE THIS NONSENSE!!!!! WE CAN TAKE THIS BACK!!!
In Baltimore, Johns Hopkins has declared 10,000 new city residents will arrive in 10 years. They are copying NYC's model of flooding the city with immigrants. That is what these policies are about and it is not good for most American citizens. Marginalized/competing with citizens of the world rather than just people living in your state for example!!!
SEND ALL EDUCATION FUNDING BACK TO EDUCATING THE PEOPLE OF MARYLAND AND BALTIMORE BY GETTING RID OF THESE CORPORATE POLS.......
College and Government Officials Discuss U.S.-India Partnerships
May 14, 2013 - 3:00am
Inside Higher Ed
The importance of collaboration with U.S. community colleges to realize India's goal of creating 200 such institutions was a major focus of a roundtable discussion on "Advancing U.S.-India Academic Partnerships" held at the Institute of International Education's Washington office on Monday. Governmental representatives participating in the discussion with college administrators included M.M. Pallam Raju, India's minister of human resource development, and Nirupama Rao, the ambassador of India to the United States, as well as several high-level U.S. Department of State officials.
The discussion portion of the meeting was closed to media (only the opening remarks were open), but participants reported that subjects of discussion included not only community college collaboration but also the role of MOOCs (massive open online courses) in increasing India's higher education capacity and the imbalance in exchanges between American and Indian students. (While there are more than 100,000 Indian students in the U.S., only 4,345 Americans studied in India in 2010-11, according to IIE data.) The subject of long-stalled legislation permitting the establishment of foreign branch campuses in India did not come up during the 45-minute discussion.
Monday's roundtable discussion was intended to inform the ongoing, governmental U.S.-India Higher Education Dialogue, a component of a larger strategic dialogue between the two countries.
Here is a Chicago education organization working and protesting for their children's future. Baltimore can as well!!
Building powerful public school parents and communities
« PSAT for 5-7-13: Say no to 36! PSAT for 5-14-13: Sign up for the 3-day march Our City, Our Schools, Our Voices, will come together this coming weekend in the final protest push before the May 22 Board meeting where the mass school closing vote will be taken.
Here’s what the CTU says about this event:
The mayor and Board of Education want to destroy 54 school communities. This will be the largest destruction of schools in U.S. history. We need our neighborhood schools and we should all fight together to save them. Join parents, teachers, students, public school workers, clergy, activists and others in the three day citywide march across the city. They want to divide us. But this is our city, our schools, and together, we’ll use our voice to tell the mayor and the world that we intend to fight back.
The march is organized into south and west sides.
South side 10:00 a.m. Saturday Kickoffat Owens Elementary, 12450 South State Street
West Side 10:00 a.m. Saturday Kickoff at Lafayette Elementary
2714 West Augusta Avenue
Register now for updates and information.