Friday, March 13, 2015

So-called Education Reform & the Art of Deception | Creative by Nature

So-called Education Reform & the Art of Deception | Creative by Nature:

So-called Education Reform & the Art of Deception

Screen Shot 2015-03-01 at 1.56.40 AM
The following are excerpts from a promotional pdf co-written in 2012 by Democrats for Education Reform (DFER) director Joe Williams & Charles Barone. The DFER group has links to Eli Broad, TFA, the Gates Foundation, charter schools and Wall Street hedge funds. They also helped place Arne Duncan in the position of Secretary of Education. From their paper:
PRESIDENT OBAMA IS THE BEST MESSENGER ‘THE MOVEMENT’ HAS EVER HAD
“For years, education reform was strong on message and somewhat weak on messengers. Too many of those who stepped forward to assume that role had their motives questioned… This President, chided by the right for his background as a community organizer, shattered that reality and reminded us that education reform is a deal which can, and must, be closed by Democrats.
The core of DFER’s mission rests on the understanding that it is our Party, the Democrats, which needs to take responsibility for preserving this crucial public institution, the cornerstone of our democracy. As Republican politicians like New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have noted, political reality necessitates that education reforms be led by Democrats if they are to succeed.
Indeed, governors of both parties nationwide have been empowered by the “cover” that has come from a Democratic President who has been willing to embrace reforms that are not always in line with the priorities of the nation’s powerful teachers unions.
The evidence of what this shift in a political messenger can bring is clear-cut. As a result of the RTTT competition, fifteen states lifted caps on the creation of new charter schools, and one state enacted a charter school law. Charter schools flourished more under three years of Obama than under eight years of George W. Bush. Funding for state charter school grants, for example, stayed between about $68 million and $81 million during Bush’s two terms, but jumped to $138 million during Obama’s first full budget year.
This increase wasn’t accidental – it was keeping a promise that then-candidate Obama made on the campaign trail. Obama also initiated, for the first time ever, a competitive grant program to expand and replicate high-quality charter school programs such as KIPP, Success Charter Network, and Uncommon Schools. In its first year alone, this program enabled 76,000 more students to attend 127 new and 31 expanded public charter schools in a dozen charter school networks nationwide.
The results of President Obama’s leadership on education have been profound in other areas as well. States from coast to coast have changed (or are in the process of changing) So-called Education Reform & the Art of Deception | Creative by Nature:


Ignored by the Common Core agenda—Making the link between poverty, nutrition and poor performance in school | Crazy Normal - the Classroom Exposé

Ignored by the Common Core agenda—Making the link between poverty, nutrition and poor performance in school | Crazy Normal - the Classroom Exposé:



Ignored by the Common Core agenda—Making the link between poverty, nutrition and poor performance in school




At a Glance:
Twelve weeks of supplementation with vitamins and minerals was found to boost the attention scores of children, according to results published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
“It is well known that adequate levels of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients are essential for optimal neural functioning. A significant percentage of individuals, including children, suffer from deficiencies in one or more vitamins or minerals. This study investigated whether daily supplementation with a multivitamin could alter cognitive performance and mood in healthy children.
“The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study included 81 healthy children aged 8-14. The children were reportedly all healthy and free from food allergies. None of the children used other dietary supplements during the three months prior to the study. Participants were randomly assigned to daily multivitamin and mineral supplements or placebo for 12 weeks
“The children underwent laboratory assessments of their cognitive performance and mood pre-dose and at 1 and 3 h post-dose on the first and last days of the trial.  Assessments were also completed at home after 4 and 8 weeks at 3 hours post-dose. Cognitive performance was measured using a battery of laboratory assessments, which included tasks assessing mood and the speed and accuracy of attention and aspects of memory. The children in the vitamin/mineral group performed more accurately on two tests of attention. No effects were observed on measures of the children’s mood
“Although the results of this study require further investigation, it suggests that vitamin/mineral supplementation has the potential to improve brain function in healthy children.”

Is @TeachForAmerica pimping poverty? | Cloaking Inequity

Is @TeachForAmerica pimping poverty? | Cloaking Inequity:



Is @TeachForAmerica pimping poverty?

pimping aint easy
Few would argue that educational inequity is of grave national and international concern. Much less widely understood is how educational inequity is tied to societal inequity, and then, following that, how to alter these structures, particularly in times of widening gaps between the wealthy, and well, everyone else. Teach for America has an explicitly articulated goal and theory of change (Tuck, 2009) for transforming education, in the video above and many other freely available sources. This explicitness allows the thousands affected by this fast-track teacher training program to engage with what the approach affords and what it obscures.
Through its own website and pro forma recruitment letters, Teach for America “is working to end educational inequity by recruiting outstanding college graduates, from all majors, to teach for two years in low-income communities.” TFA also frequently cites a statistic that only one in ten children growing up in poverty will graduate from college.
TFA is both right and wrong. Poverty and the growing chasm between the wealthy and the rest of the population is intricately connected to educational outcomes. In fact, statistically speaking, the best predictor of educational attainment has long been and unfortunately remains, not motivation, individual ability, or even grit, but socioeconomic status and the education level of students’ parents, not their teachers. In other words, as much as it may be abrasive to national discourses that position individual effort as pivotal to success, trends in educational Is @TeachForAmerica pimping poverty? | Cloaking Inequity:

Bob Braun's Ledger Screen Shot : Pearson, NJ, spying on social media of students taking PARCC tests

Big Education Ape: UPDATE: Pearson, NJ, spying on social media of students taking PARCC tests | Bob Braun's Ledger:



TO MY BLOG AND FACEBOOK FRIENDS: My site has been attacked and has been shut down to stop the attack. You might want to contact Pearson and let them know you don't appreciate suppression of legitimate news.

Bob Braun's Ledger and its related email is down because of a "denial of service" attack. My only access to readers at the moment is Facebook and Twitter. These guys don't screw around. You might want to see if you can get mainstream media interested in reporting about what happens when legitimate news stories offend corporations like Pearson.


From Bob Braun's Ledger on FaceBook 732 PM PST


Click Here to go to Bob Braun's Ledger on FaceBook

http://bobbraunsledger.com/category/education/
Media preview
http://bobbraunsledger.com/category/education/


http://bobbraunsledger.com/category/education/

UPDATE: Pearson, NJ, spying on social media of students taking PARCC tests | Bob Braun's Ledger

Education | Bob Braun's Ledger:

TO MY BLOG AND FACEBOOK FRIENDS: My site has been attacked and has been shut down to stop the attack. You might want to contact Pearson and let them know you don't appreciate suppression of legitimate news.

Bob Braun's Ledger and its related email is down because of a "denial of service" attack. My only access to readers at the moment is Facebook and Twitter. These guys don't screw around. You might want to see if you can get mainstream media interested in reporting about what happens when legitimate news stories offend corporations like Pearson.


From Bob Braun's Ledger on FaceBook 732 PM PST


APOLOGIES--MY SITE HAS CRASHED BECAUSE OF INTEREST IN THE STORY ABOUT PEARSON/STATE SPYING ON STUDENTS TAKING THE PARCC TEST Bob Braun's Ledger on FaceBook







BREAKING: Pearson, NJ, spying on social media of students taking PARCC tests

Media preview




”  Pearson, the multinational testing and publishing company, is spying on the social media posts of students–including those from New Jersey–while the children are taking their PARCC, statewide tests, this site has learned exclusively. The state education department is cooperating with this spying and has asked at least one school district to discipline students who may have said something inappropriate about the tests.
Continue reading  Check out the note from Bob below:

Bob Braun's Ledger

APOLOGIES--MY SITE HAS CRASHED BECAUSE OF INTEREST IN THE STORY ABOUT PEARSON/STATE SPYING ON STUDENTS TAKING THE PARCC TEST--If anyone out there saved it to PDF, please send it to me at bob@bobbraunsledger and I will post it here on Facebook. Sorry I'm such a technical dunce. It's a generational thing.


Thanks, SBOE! Pearson would create ISTEP for just over $38 million and IREAD-3, Indiana’s third-grade reading test, for almost $7 million.....and the spying comes at no extra charge. What a deal!
"Pearson, the multinational testing and publishing company, is spying on the social media posts of students–including those from New Jersey–while the children are taking their PARCC, statewide tests, this site has learned exclusively. The state education department is cooperating with this spying and has asked at least one school district to discipline students who may have said something inappropriate about the tests.
This website discovered the unauthorized and hidden spying thanks to educators who informed it of the practice–a practice happening throughout the state and apparently throughout the country. The spying–or “monitoring,” to use Pearson’s word–was confirmed at one school district–the Watchung Hills Regional High School district in Warren by its superintendent, Elizabeth Jewett.
Jewett sent out an e-mail–posted here– to her colleagues expressing concern about the unauthorized spying on students. She said parents are upset and added that she thought Pearson’s behavior would contribute to the growing “opt out” movement.
In her email, Jewett said the district’s testing coordinator received a late night call from the state education department saying that Pearson had “initiated a Priority 1 Alert for an item breach within our school.”
The unnamed state education department employee contended a student took a picture of a test item and tweeted it. But it turned out the student had posted–at 3:18 pm, after testing was over–a tweet about one of the items with no picture. Jewett does not say the student revealed a question. Jewett continues:
“The student deleted the tweet and we spoke with the parent–who was obviously highly concerned as to her child’s tweets being monitored by the DOE (state education department).
“The DOE informed us that Pearson is monitoring all social media during the PARCC testing.”
Jewett continued: I have to say that I find that a bit disturbing–and if our parents were concerned before about a conspiracy with all of the student data, I am sure I will be receiving more letters of refusal once this gets out.”
The school superintendent also expressed concern about “the fact that the DOE wanted us to also issue discipline to the student.”
I contacted Jewett by email. By that time she had discovered three instances in which Pearson notified the state education department of the results of its spying. In her email to me, Jewett was vague about the role of Pearson and the education department. She wrote:
“In reference to the issue of PARCC infractions and DOE/Pearson monitoring social media, we have had three incidents over the past week. All situations have been dealt with in accordance with our Watchung Hills Regional High School code of conduct and academic integrity policy. Watchung Hills Regional High School is a relatively small district and a close-knit community; therefore, I am very concerned that whatever details your sources are providing may cause unnecessary labeling and hardship to students who are learning the consequences of their behavior.”
Jewett acted professionally, I believe, but I must point out the irony of her lecturing me about protecting the identity of students when she has just dealt with an inexcusable breach of privacy involving minors. I made it clear to her I have no intention of revealing names of students–but I would be more than happy to speak with their parents.
The state education department official identified as the person cooperating with Pearson is Veronica Orsi, who is in charge of assessment for grades 9-12 in the department. She refused to answer this website’s questions about her involvement.
Neither the state education department nor Pearson’s would respond to my emails on the company’s spying on students.
New Jersey is paying $108 million to run its PARCC testing program, an enterprise that has engendered opposition throughout New Jersey–and that was before the spying was revealed.
State Education Commissioner David Hespe spent hours testifying before the Legislature’s Senate Education Committee Thursday and did not once mention the possibility that the London-based Pearson would be “monitoring” the social media accounts of students taking the test. Jewett’s email, however, indicated the department–presumably including Hespe–were well aware of the practice.
A few days before, state education department officials–including Orsi–held a background briefing for some media–Bob Braun’s Ledger was not invited–and none of the mainstream media accounts of the session revealed the Pearson spying program."

http://bobbraunsledger.com/category/education/


Parents Can Opt Out - United Opt Out National

Click Here to go to United Opt Out National: 



Click Here to go to the WebsiteUnited Opt Out Team
Home
Click Here to go to the Website FairTest

Hey, Kids: If You Tweet About Your PARCC Testing Experience, Pearson Will Call You Out | deutsch29

Hey, Kids: If You Tweet About Your PARCC Testing Experience, Pearson Will Call You Out | deutsch29:



Hey, Kids: If You Tweet About Your PARCC Testing Experience, Pearson Will Call You Out





 The question of whether Louisiana students are taking a legitimate PARCC test might be answered by the outcome of Louisiana students discussing their PARCC testing experience on social media.

The Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) has no contract with official PARCC vendor, Pearson. Louisiana’s “PARCC” tests are supposedly the result of an undisclosed arrangement between another testing company, Data Recognition Corp (DRC) and Pearson.
The public is not allowed to know the details surrounding the shaky third-party-acquisition of Louisiana’s “PARCC” tests.
However, Pearson apparently trolls social media to protect its product.
In short, Pearson has been monitoring social media in New Jersey to see if students in PARCC testing states have been chatting about their testing experiences.
Pearson officials have even had the gall to contact the New Jersey department of education three times and push for corrective action for the students’ actions on social media.
Read about the fill story on Bob Braun’s Ledger.
NOTE: I read that Braun’s blog account had been suspended. For a full copy of his post in Word doc form, click here:
social media spying
Big Education Ape: Pearson Streamlines Social Media Listening and Monitoring on PARCC tests With Tracx http://bit.ly/1BCFI3o
TO MY BLOG AND FACEBOOK FRIENDS: My site has been attacked and has been shut down to stop the attack. You might want to contact Pearson and let them know you don't appreciate suppression of legitimate news.

From Bob Braun's Ledger on FaceBook 732 PM PST
Big Education Ape: UPDATE: Pearson, NJ, spying on social media of students taking PARCC tests | Bob Braun's Ledger http://bit.ly/1BCz9Ol

Pearson Streamlines Social Media Listening and Monitoring on PARCC tests With Tracx

Pearson Streamlines Social Media Listening and Monitoring With Tracx:

Pearson Streamlines Social Media Listening and Monitoring With Tracx

Big Education Ape: BREAKING: Pearson, NJ, spying on social media of students taking PARCC tests | Bob Braun's Ledger http://bit.ly/1BCz9Ol

Media preview


Pearson is the world’s leading learning company, providing educational materials and services and business information through the Financial Times Group. Pearson serves learners of all ages around the globe, employing 41,000 people in more than 70 countries. Social media plays a business critical role across all of Pearson’s major businesses: PreK-12, Higher Education, Professional and Assessment, as well as from a corporate perspective.

Problem

With organizationally and globally distributed teams, Pearson employees were using dozens of different social media toolsand services. Their primary tool, Radian6, was difficult to use, limited in terms of how many topics they were able to track and very expensive. Providing meaningful measurement across Pearson was challenging and an incredibly manual and time-consuming process. Pearson was seeking a social listening and analytics platform that could be utilized across all its business units and able to scale to support its global businesses.

Solution

After doing a thorough review of social media listening and analytics tools, Pearson chose Tracx for three primary reasons.
1. Usability: 
which refers not only to the clean intuitive user interface of the Tracx platform but also to the ease of getting data and reports needed.

2. Customer Service: 
with a dedicated client services team on tap to not only get the Pearson team up and running but available to help however needed on an ongoing basis.

3. Value: 
since Tracx does not charge additional fees based on the number of user profiles or owned media accounts, both are included and unlimited with Tracx. Pearson uses Tracx daily for social listening and monitoring across all its lines of business.
Today, Pearson uses Tracx to arm nearly 40 employees to do their own social research and reporting and continues to add additional users and geographies every month.

Results

Tracx enabled Pearson to increase organizational efficiencies and cut costs by reducing the number of social tools being used throughout the organization. Tracx has assisted with governance issues including enterprise workflows to ensure appropriate teams are communicated with, as well as approval chains and processes are followed. In addition, Tracx has empowered a wider number of people within the Pearson organization to self-serve social listening, analytics and reporting reducing the pressure on the online marketing group to be the sole provider of this knowledge and reporting.

Pearson Streamlines Social Media Listening and Monitoring With Tracx

Big Education Ape: Companies cash in on Common Core despite controversy http://bit.ly/1Ah00v6

Common Core's contract winners

Rank
Vendor
Project awards 2010-2014
1Pearson27
2Houghton Mifflin Harcourt20
3Staff Development Workshops16
4Scholastic14
5Catapult Learning11
6McGraw-Hill9
7Pivot Learning Partners9
8AP Ventures8
9Action Learning Systems7
10Solution Tree7
Source: Onvia database of awards, based on key words related to "common core"

Education Secretary Arne Duncan wades through anti-testing protesters at Chicago event | Chicago

Education Secretary Arne Duncan wades through anti-testing protesters at Chicago event | Chicago:



Education Secretary Arne Duncan wades through anti-testing protesters at Chicago event






 U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan arrived at a South Side elementary school Thursday morning for an event — but his driver took a wrong turn down a dead-end alley, and Duncan was forced to walk half a block to the school amid protesters who’d been waiting for him to complain about standardized testing.

About 50 parents and children stood outside Ariel Community Academy so they could deliver their message to him about their opposition to the PARCC test. They chased his black SUV when it turned short of the school into an alley.
But the alley was a dead end. The SUV stopped. Duncan got out in his shirt-sleeves, his suit jacket over one arm.
He strode back up the heavily puddled alley to the nearest school entrance, smiling at the chanting (“Chicago hates the PARCC”) and signs (“Arne, Rahm, Park the PARCC, stop test bullying.”) Aside from a few pleasantries, he did not speak to the people surrounding him.
“There’s no way he didn’t see why we’re here and why we we’re protesting,” said Lynn Ankey, mother of two at Belding Elementary School on the Northwest Side. “Despite the bullying by ISBE (Illinois State Board of Education) and by him to ISBE, we’re not giving up and we’re still going to stand up for our kids.”
Duncan was expected inside along with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett and Ariel Investments President Mellody Hobson to announce a new financial education program.



Once safely inside the school, Duncan was asked about the protest outside.
Why is his U.S. Department of Education forcing a controversial standardized test — one many parents don’t want and that Mayor Rahm Emanuel has argued is “not ready” for prime time — down the throats Chicago Public Schools?
“I’m not,” Duncan said. “The state works it out without Chicago. . . .  That’s the state’s decision.”
But isn’t the mandate being dictated by the federal government? Isn’t that what’s behind the threat to withhold $1 billion in funding that forced Chicago’s hand?
“No. You’re wrong. . . . You’re making stuff up. You don’t have your facts straight,” Duncan said.
The secretary was asked about the parental animosity stemming from the PARCC test and the resulting protest that forced him to go through the gantlet of protesters to get into Ariel Community Academy, 1119 E. 46th Street.
“I welcome the conversation. It’s good. . . . It’s a healthy conversation to have,” he said.
But he said, “It’s important to assess kids annually. . . . Millions of kids around the country are taking the test. We’re fine.”

Special Education Vouchers Likened to “Puppy Mills”

Special Education Vouchers Likened to “Puppy Mills”:



IDEA-Main-e1337780364720

Special Education Vouchers Likened to “Puppy Mills”

Mississippi Rep. Cecil Brown (D-Jackson) said, in reference to vouchers for students with disabilities, “You are getting ready to open the equivalent of puppy mills for children.” Brown expressed concern that parents would be scammed and would lose out on services for their children.
Mississippi politicians are trying to pass a voucher bill for students with disabilities to attend private schools of their parent’s choice. While parents might be frustrated with the services they get in public schools, there is fear, as expressed by Rep. Brown, that outside institutions will gladly take their vouchers and only be interested in the money and not helping their child
School choice for students with disabilities, in most cases, makes absolutely no sense. The majority of private, parochial and charter schools do not provide services that address disabilities of any kind.
So it seems ludicrous to hand over public dollars for services that do not exist, yet many states are doing just that. Politicians either mistakenly believe private is better for students with disabilities, or they see this as a sneaky way to privatize schools in general. Either way, they are doing a disservice to children and wasting tax dollars.
While politicians around the country debate vouchers, many students with disabilities are already provided vouchers. The best known voucher program is the McKay Scholarship in Florida. There they find that many parents use the vouchers, not for special education, but to place children in religious schools. Nor are schools regulated, as noted yesterday in the link to a serious article by Gus Garcia-Roberts in the Miami New Times.
Special ed. vouchers aren’t doing well in other states either. In Wisconsin, a student had to return to public school after a difficult experience in a private school. In the Special Education Vouchers Likened to “Puppy Mills”:

Latest News and Comment from Education

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION
EduBloggers