Monday, March 16, 2015

snopes.com: Pearson PARCC Social Media Spying

snopes.com: Pearson PARCC Social Media Spying:

PARCC Strife

snopes.com



Claim:   Educational materials publisher Pearson monitored students' social media accounts for content related to the PARCC test.





MIXTURE:



FALSE: Pearson monitored individual, private student accounts to circumvent cheating on PARCC tests.

TRUE: Pearson monitored social media networks for public posts that possibly disclosed test contents.



Example:   [Collected via e-mail, March 2015]

This was posted on FaceBook. It stated that Pearson was monitoring students' social media after a student tweeted about a PARCC test question.




Origins:   On 13 March 2015, the Facebook page "Bob Braun's ledger" (operated by a former newspaper reporter named Bob Braun) published two status updates about an e-mail message purportedly documenting that test and textbook manufacturer Pearson was surveilling the social media accounts of students taking the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test:
PEARSON IS MONITORING SOCIAL MEDIA OF NEW JERSEY STUDENTS AND NOTIFYING THE STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT IF THEY MENTION PARCC. More on my blog later but three students from Somerset County high school were caught up in it.

BREAKING NEWS: HOW'S THIS FOR AN OUTRAGE: PEARSON, STATE EDUCATION DEPARTMENT, SPYING ON STUDENTS' SOCIAL MEDIA,ASKING DISTRICTS TO DISCPLINE STUDENTS
Braun's post (and a subsequent article) drew widespread attention and prompted debate about student privacy. On 14 March 2015, Superintendent Elizabeth Jewett of Watchung Hills Regional High School District in New Jersey published a letter confirming that the leaked e-mail circulated by Braun was authentic. Jewett said that she did not authorize the widespread release of the message and was unsure about why it was forwarded to Braun:
Dear Watchung Hills Regional High School Learning Community,

On Friday, March 13, 2015, Bobbraunsledger.com published a story referencing an email I had sent to other superintendents about issues regarding PARCC testing and Pearson's monitoring of social media. The email shown in his article is authentic. It was an email I sent on March 10, 2015 at approximately 10:00AM to a group of superintendents to share my concerns and to see if other schools had a similar experience. I did not authorize the release of this email nor am I aware of who did release it. I am also not aware of the motives they may have had behind the release. That said, I completely stand behind my comments as they represent not only my views and concerns; they also represent the views and concerns of our Board of Education.

The article references instances involving students during PARCC testing and any related disciplinary action. For student privacy issues, we cannot comment on any of the specific students or discipline referred to in the article. What I am able to share is that all issues have been dealt with in accordance with our Code of Conduct, Academic Integrity and Acceptable Use of Technology Policies.

Our main concern is, and will always remain, supporting the educational, social and emotional needs of our students. The privacy and security of student information remains the utmost priority for our district.

The district will have no further comment on this matter at this time.
A representative for Pearson also released a statement after Jewett's e-mail circulated, confirming that social media monitoring pertained only to information published publicly on the internet:
The security of a test is critical to ensure fairness for all students and teachers and to ensure that the results of any assessment are trustworthy and valid.

We welcome debate and a variety of opinions. But when test questions or elements are posted publicly to the Internet, we are obligated to alert PARCC states. Any contact with students or decisions about student discipline are handled at the local level.

We believe that a secure test maintains fairness for every student and the validity, integrity of the test results.
The claims about PARCC test content and social media alarmed a number of parents, many of whom were concerned that their children's social media accounts were subject to invasive, secret audits by a large educational testing company. However, much of the controversy boiled down to an initial lack of detail in the retelling regarding
the privacy level of content shared to social media.

Upon later examination, it became clear that Pearson monitored social networks (primarily Twitter) for public tweets that potentially included content from PARCC tests. Irrespective of whether folks find that specific protocol acceptable, Pearson was not implicated in the interception of any private social media postings or communications belonging to students who were administered PARCC tests.

Moreover, although the security measures cited were adapted to include social media networks, the overall practice of stringent test security for statewide materials is neither new nor novel. New York state's long-term efforts to secure its Regents exams [PDF] is a well-documented example of such measures, as revealed when controversy erupted in June 1989 after the secrecy of the statewide standardized Chemistry test was compromised and its answers were published in a newspaper:
State education officials said that The Post's front page, which displayed the answer sheet, appeared to have been sent by facsimile machines this morning to some students in upstate New York and that this led to the decision for a statewide ban. The chemistry test was to have been given this afternoon.

A spokesman for State Attorney General Robert Abrams said investigators were aware of "at least four tests and their answers having been bought and sold" among students. In addition to chemistry, the tests were in United States history, global studies and 10th-grade mathematics, said the spokesman, Timothy Gilles.

Education officials, who said they had no idea how the keys were obtained, pledged an overhaul of security procedures for administering the tests, which in their 111 years have been canceled statewide only once before.
Despite the initial controversy, Pearson was not accused of monitoring individual Twitter or Facebook accounts and merely accessed publicly-posted information visible to anyone with an Internet connection. Moreover, standardized testing-based security measures existed well before Twitter and Facebook, and students have long been subject to scrutiny and security measures to circumvent cheating on statewide tests. It didn't appear any students were specifically targeted in larger social media monitoring for PARCC test content, which included only publicly-available posts that were turned up through keyword searches.

Last updated:   16 March 2015

Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/education/parcc.asp#m1zYJ6ewqTXIkytm.99

NYC Public School Parents: Surveillance, free speech, student privacy and the Pineapple: Pearson gives parents more reasons to opt out

NYC Public School Parents: Surveillance, free speech, student privacy and the Pineapple: Pearson gives parents more reasons to opt out:



Surveillance, free speech, student privacy and the Pineapple: Pearson gives parents more reasons to opt out

On Saturday night the news exploded through the Twittersphere via Bob Braun’s blog that Pearson was monitoring student social media.  Pearson had sent a warning to the NJ State Education Department, who in turn had contacted the Superintendent of Warren, saying that a student enrolled in the district had posted a picture of one of the PARCC questions on Twitter during the exam.  

That turned out to be incorrect, according to the Superintendent.  Apparently, the student had just commented on the question after taking the test, and deleted his tweet after being contacted by the district.  The most disturbing aspect of the incident was not merely Pearson’s error in reporting this to the State Education Department,  (how did they get this wrong?) but also their suggestion that the student should be disciplined for this behavior – when it’s not at all clear  that he did anything wrong.  But parents and others were understandably alarmed that Pearson is monitoring student social media at all.

I don’t mean to minimize the creepiness of this, but I am not surprised.  Clearly, Pearson has good reason  to defend  against its test items being disclosed in advance of students elsewhere taking the PARCC exams, and will use whatever tools at its disposal to do so.  But it is somewhat implausible that anyone could imagine that they will be able to achieve this. Given the widespread use of social media and the speed and ease of communication, it is near crazy to imagine that questions given to over five million students in 11 states over the period of several weeks will remain secret for any length of time – or even just during the testing window. According to the PARCC website, since February 16, over two million students have now taken these exams  in Arkansas, the District of Columbia, Colorado, Illinois, Ohio, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey and New Mexico, with Louisiana, Massachusetts and Rhode Island to start testing soon.

The PARCC/Pearson consortium has also said they refuse to release all of the questions on these exams, a position that is difficult to justify for any assessments in which the stakes for students, teachers and schools are so high.   But then those in power always want to maintain maximum secrecy for themselves, and protect what they see is their own privacy rights, whether personal or commercial – while having little or no respect for the privacy of others.  Witness how technology CEOs like Mark Zuckerberg maximize their own privacy by asking all their NYC Public School Parents: Surveillance, free speech, student privacy and the Pineapple: Pearson gives parents more reasons to opt out:

Reflections on Teaching » Blog Archive » Avoiding a repeat of Pineapple-gate

Reflections on Teaching » Blog Archive » Avoiding a repeat of Pineapple-gate:



 Avoiding a repeat of Pineapple-gate




A letter from a New Jersey Superintendent started making the rounds on Friday. The letter included the following:
  • An alert by the state department of education, late at night, that there had been a “test security” breach.
  • An inaccurate allegation by the state official that a picture of a test question had been posted on Twitter by the student.
  • A request that that the student be disciplined (suspended).
  • This involved input from the test publisher, Pearson.
The tweet apparently did not include a picture, and was after the day’s testing ended. It started on Bob Braun’s Ledger website, which has been crashing since, either due to large amounts of traffic, or a DNS attack, depending on who you read. Either scenario says something about how explosive this issue is.







In my humble opinion, this is not spying by Pearson, because when this student put it up in social media it’s public. But there is something more disturbing about this because at the heart, it’s a free speech issue and the clash with intellectual property. These tests involve a lot of money. A lot of money to hire psychometricians to write the questions. A lot of money to test publishers from the states and localities to pay for the tests, etc. These questions are precious intellectual property for the publishers. They lose value the more “public” they become, so they loathe sharing on social media. They talk about “cheating” really, they worry about questions becoming dead because they’ve been all over the Internets and then can’t be used any more. Audrey Watters and Cynthia Liu have made this point too, I’m going to guess we all had this brilliant insight at once. but here are Reflections on Teaching » Blog Archive » Avoiding a repeat of Pineapple-gate:


Pearson’s Intellectual Property — Why Is This Even a Thing? | Daniel Katz, Ph.D.

Pearson’s Intellectual Property — Why Is This Even a Thing? | Daniel Katz, Ph.D.:



Pearson’s Intellectual Property — Why Is This Even a Thing?

View image on Twitter
Bob Braun, a five decade veteran of the Newark Star Ledger and currently an independent blogger, blew up a portion of the internet on Friday by reporting that Pearson, the international education giant responsible for the PARCC examinations currently underway, was “spying” on students’ social mediaactivity.  According to a letter from Watchung Hills Regional High School District Superintendent Elizabeth Jewett, the district test coordinator got a late night phone call from New Jersey DOE after Pearson initiated a “priority one alert” for a breech of test security within the district.  NJDOE informed the district that they believed Pearson’s alert was for a student who took a picture of a test item during testing and posted it to Twitter, and the state suggested that the district should discipline the offending student.  However, upon examination, the district ascertained that a student had tweeted a comment well after testing was over and included no picture at all.  The tweet has since been deleted by the student, but given the 140 character limit on Twitter, it is extremely unlikely that any significant breech of test security could have possibly occurred.  However, the incident revealed that Pearson is monitoring social media for any and all references to the testing going on and is prepared to initiate state level investigations of individual students (how else would NJDOE know the district and student involved?) over very flimsy circumstances.
The story took off very quickly as did Mr. Braun’s accusation that Pearson is Pearson’s Intellectual Property — Why Is This Even a Thing? | Daniel Katz, Ph.D.:

Pearson Is NOT Spying on Student Tweets; Instead Enlisting Public School Officials to Protect Its Tests

Pearson Is NOT Spying on Student Tweets; Instead Enlisting Public School Officials to Protect Its Tests:



Pearson Is NOT “Spying” On Student Tweets, It’s Enlisting Public School Officials To Defend Its Intellectual Property




Bob Braun, an education blogger and former journalist, got ahold of a note from a school superintendent advising parents in the district that a student in NJ had tweeted outside of school hours about a PARCC test he had completed earlier when school was still in session.* (The exact contents of the tweet are unknown now.)
Pearson, a multinational corporation which monitors its brand on Twitter for reputation defense and intellectual property rights violations, saw the tweet and contacted the New Jersey Department of Education which then reached out to the superintendent of the school district where the child attends. Pearson labeled this a “Priority 1 alert” breach of the confidential nature of the test’s contents and the NJDOE instructed the superintendent to have the student remove his tweet and he complied.
The framing of this by Braun as “spying” has caused the hair of many education activists to catch on fire. HOWEVER.
Pearson is not “spying” on student tweets, it’s enlisting public school officials — the New Jersey Department of Education — to defend its intellectual property. The latter is worse and a bigger problem. 

People need to realize that corporate brands monitor their Twitter mentions. This is a fact and not a new thing; this is how hashtags and searchable Twitter handles work, and this is how successful issue campaigns have been launched against corporate brands in the past. (In 2011, I wanted to force Procter & Gamble to divest monetary and other support for ALEC, which is the right-wing clearinghouse for state legislation like “stand your ground” aka “kill at will with your gun,” parent trigger, and other toxic legislation, etc. So some activists and I used their shareholder meeting hashtag and tweeted embarrassing news reports about P&G’s shameful corporate citizenship, costly lawsuits over metal hip joints, and so forth. Which of course they saw and any shareholders tuning in to the hashtag also saw. And not long after pressure from many much larger activist groups, including Pearson Is NOT Spying on Student Tweets; Instead Enlisting Public School Officials to Protect Its Tests:

Pearson Spying Part 2. Talking to Anthony Cody about TRACX 03/17 by Busted Pencils | Education Podcasts

Pearson Spying Part 2. Talking to Anthony Cody about TRACX 03/17 by Busted Pencils | Education Podcasts:



Pearson Spying Part 2. Talking to Anthony Cody about TRACX

Host


After a stimulating conversation with Bob Braun last night about his breaking news story that proved that Pearson was spying on New Jersey students wilth the collaboration of the New Jersey Department of Education,, Jed and Tim continue the Pearson Spygate conversation with Living in Dialogue creator and blogger Anthony Cody. As detailed here http://www.livingindialogue.com/high-stakes-testing-makes-surveillance-necessary/ Anthony suggests that surveillance is a requirement of high stakes testing and explains how TRACX helps make it easy for Pearson to spy on the social media activities of our children.Pearson Spying Part 2. Talking to Anthony Cody about TRACX 03/17 by Busted Pencils | Education Podcasts:




Pearson and Its Palm Scan (and More) | deutsch29

Pearson and Its Palm Scan (and More) | deutsch29:



Pearson and Its Palm Scan (and More)



security-scan-hand-984923




 As the “stakes” in “high stakes testing” increase, then the imposition of testing company rights over the rights of the individual will increase. (Educational blogger Anthony Cody addresses this idea in his March 15, 2015, post entitled, High Stakes Testing makes Surveillance Necessary.)

Let us consider how Pearson is guaranteeing the security of its product, the Pearson Test of English Academic (PTE Academic).
Here is a description of PTE Academic from the pearsonvue.com website:
PTE Academic is a computer-based test which assesses the Listening, Reading, Speaking and Writing abilities of non-native speakers of English who need to demonstrate their academic English capability — often to obtain places at English-speaking universities, higher education institutions or as proof of their language ability for a visa application.
PTE Academic is endorsed by, and the preferred test of GMAC® — the owners of the Graduate Management Admission Test® (GMAT®). The test is recognized by universities and colleges worldwide and is officially approved by the UK Border Agency for Tiers 1, 2 and 4 visa applications.
So, the PTE Academic is related to the high-stakes outcomes of American and other English-speaking university admission, and to the obtaining of visas for entrance into English-speaking countries.
The PTE Academic test takers are typically 16 or 17 years old, an age generally considered internationally to be that of minors. Thus, to ensure it has a solid-legally-binding PTE Academic test-taker contract, Pearson must have a written agreement Pearson and Its Palm Scan (and More) | deutsch29:

AFT President Randi Weingarten and NEA President Lily Eskelsen García will discuss the impact of the reauthorization of ESEA on teachers, parents and students. - Virtual Conference

Ideas and Innovations 2015 - Virtual Conference - Lesson Plans - Share My Lesson:


Share My Lesson Virtual Conference

Join Us for the 2015 Ideas & Innovations Virtual Conference - March 23-25

Description

Ideas & Innovations is a professional learning virtual conference, March 23-25, brought to you by Share My Lesson in partnership with content leaders, authors and experienced educators. With 29 sessions to choose from, there's something for every new or experienced educator, PreK-12, spanning all subject areas from arts education, science and math to integrating technology and games into the classroom.
Make sure you register now!

What will I learn from this conference?

  • How to implement techniques based on the Common Core State Standards
  • What changes are ahead in the education industry and how they affect you
  • New, fresh, innovative content that you can bring to the classroom tomorrow

How do I register?

  • Simply scroll through the many sessions listed below and register for the ones that interest you. If you are looking for something specific, use the search box or click on the sort feature to find the topics you need.
  • Click on the session you would like to attend. Each session starts on the hour and will last about 45 minutes.
  • You will be prompted to register and once registered, you can click on any webcast without having to resubmit your information.

KEYNOTE: ESEA and the Impact on Teachers—A conversation with Randi Weingarten and Lily Eskelsen García


6:00 PM ET / 3:00 PM PT The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) is currently pending reauthorization in Congress, with discussion on how it may change or adapt the current law, No Child Left Behind (NCLB). With this in mind, AFT President Randi Weingarten and NEA President Lily Eskelsen García will discuss the impact of the reauthorization of ESEA on teachers, parents and students. They will break down the legislation into easy-to-understand language so that everyone involved can understand the potential impact of ESEA.

Our members: Powerful educators thinking outside the tiny testing box - Lily's Blackboard

Our members: Powerful educators thinking outside the tiny testing box - Lily's Blackboard:





Our members: Powerful educators thinking outside the tiny testing box

I’m still overwhelmed with tears, with pride, with hope… ok, now you’ll think I’m just exaggerating. I couldn’t. This is real. This is the way forward. I have seen the future of humanity, and it makes me smile.
Thomas Lentz, Amanda McCallister and Cristina Vega are teachers at Ridge Community High School in Polk County, Florida.
They are union leaders. They are education leaders. They are creative to their core. They understand the power produced when you give leadership and authority to people – whether those are big people or little people. They understand the energy produced from knowing you’re responsible for making decisions that will impact something important.
Lily - Ridge Community High School (1 of 17)

They understand the very human thing produced when people come together in a democracy to propose and plan and debate and decide what to do. Apathy falls away. New ideas are generated. You have a sense of purpose and become driven to succeed.
They thought of their own students who were at risk at becoming lost in an inhuman, irrelevant bureaucracy that only counted test score points. These powerful educators began to think outside that tiny testing box.
What if the students at their school could feel the power to lead? What if their students could propose, consider and decide important things in their lives – things that mattered to their education; to their community; to their world? What if their students could clearly see the purpose of a whole and human education and the power in their how hands to achieve what they wanted to achieve?
Not much in the lives of these students appeared to be in their own hands. Ridge Community High School is made up of a diverse population of white, African-American and Latino students. Many of their families face financial struggles and immigration issues. It’s not uncommon that in schools like Ridge Community, demographics become destiny.
Parents, who had little opportunity to learn when they were children, work hard at low-wage jobs with no benefits. Most have not attended college and are unsure how to help their own children navigate a system where you begin in jr. high school preparing for a pipeline of classes that will result in the right credits needed for a college Our members: Powerful educators thinking outside the tiny testing box - Lily's Blackboard:

Mayoral Candidates Rahm Emanuel and Jesus "Chuy" Garcia said during Monday night's forum ‪#‎Chuy2015‬ ‪#‎imwithchuy‬

Ward Room | Chicago's Political News and Analysis Blog | NBC Chicago:


Mayoral Candidates Rahm Emanuel and Jesus "Chuy" Garcia said during Monday night's forum 

Join NBC Chicago for a post-forum round table discussion analyzing what mayoral candidates Rahm Emanuel and Jesus "Chuy" Garcia said during Monday night's forum.
Three guests will participate in the discussion: Mick Dumke, senior writer at the Chicago Reader and host of the "Tuesdays with Ben and Mick" politics panel at The Hideout; Nancy Day, chair of the journalism department at Columbia College in Chicago and former editor and reporter for the Associated Press and the Chicago Sun-Times; and Elias Cepeda, NBC Chicago's newest Ward Room blogger.
During the forum, which begins at 6 p.m., NBCChicago.com will post polls about various hot topics in the election. Our guests will analyze the poll results as well as weigh in on the shockers and headlines from the forum.
The round table discussion will be live streamed at NBCChicago.com and will begin immediately after the forum.




















The Personification of Pearson: Always Earning | Poetic Justice

The Personification of Pearson: Always Earning | Poetic Justice:



The Personification of Pearson: Always Earning

By Lucianna M.  Sanson – Poetic Justice Editor and Blogger
The Personification of Pearson: Always Earning
My daughter was in Kindergarten when she first met Pearson. According to my daughter, Pearson was the bully that chased you around and around the playground until he finally got a grip on your blue denim jacket- and- with a mighty heave, stopped you dead in your tracks, spun you around, grabbed you by the collar, put his face right up close into yours, demanding not only your lunch money, but anything else you had in your pockets: coins, pencils, rubber bands, erasers, paper scraps, chewing gum, jawbreakers, even lint. Even Lint. Yeah, Pearson was THAT kind of bully. It seemed that he wanted everything that every kid had- all of your money, paper, ABC gum- you name it.
Needless to say, I marched myself down to the elementary school and discussed Pearson with my daughters teacher. I was told that Pearson was a challenge but that he had been adopted by the state and would be staying in my daughter’s school. As a ward of the state, there was nothing the teacher could do about that; however, she would make sure that my daughter was exposed to Pearson as little as possible and that she would never have to be in the same room with him during testing. Time passed- and my daughter- through lack of contact- rarely saw Pearson during the remainder of elementary school.
Fast forward to Middle School. Orientation. Guess who greets us at the door???? Yup.  Pearson. This guys is everywhere AND suddenly he is popular!!!  POPULAR! He is the darling of the new Teach for America teacherThe Personification of Pearson: Always Earning | Poetic Justice:





Making Schools the “Best in the World”

Making Schools the “Best in the World”:


sprinters

Making Schools the “Best in the World”

You know those fist-pumping speeches that invariably include the line, “make this nation’’s schooling the best in the world!” Almost without exception we hear this wherever national schooling exists: US, UK, Canada, Australia…
Am I the only one who shudders at this wholly accepted rhetoric around competition? Does this really make sense?
You might say “competition drives improvement!” Or national pride is good.” Yes! I wholeheartedly agree with both of these excellent points. But let’s explore what this means.
Competition
Would a world-class sprinter have any interest racing the nearest 30 people of the same age? We all know this race would be pointless, for our sprinter would probably thrash the competition without breaking a sweat. Then we have the runners forced to race when they ha’ve other interests and strengths. What a joyless experience for everyone involved!
When we push all students through the same exams, students, like our sprinters, are not challenged. Other students, shamed by their poor comparative performance, lose confidence, as they’’re beaten in races they never chose to run. This, my friends, is how a system creates student disengagement.
Some people may argue that “school exams are the basics!” Are they though? Basics? Are you able to read what you want to read in your own time? Can you add and subtract Making Schools the “Best in the World”:

Billionaire Ken Griffin puts in another $500,000 for Rahm reelection | Chicago #‎Chuy2015‬ ‪#‎imwithchuy‬

Billionaire Ken Griffin puts in another $500,000 for Rahm reelection | Chicago:



Billionaire Ken Griffin puts in another $500,000 for Rahm reelection






 Billionaire Citadel hedge fund founder Ken Griffin sunk another $500,000 into supporting Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s reelection, giving the sizable contribution to  the pro-Emanuel political action committee Chicago Forward.

The donation, which was reported on Friday, was on top of the $250,000 Griffin just donated directly to Emanuel’s campaign fund after the mayor failed to seal up the Feb. 24 first round election.
Chicago Forward last week launched an attack ad against “Jesus Chuy” Garcia, asking: ““What do we really know about Chuy Garcia?” It then answers the rhetorical question by saying, “He’s an old-style, Chicago politician who’s looked out for himself — not you.”
Griffin has given nearly $1 million to pro-Emanuel campaign committees over the last year, including $750,000 since March 2. Griffin was similarly a major financial force in the campaign of Gov. Bruce Rauner, the Republican’s largest donor outside of Rauner himself. Griffin’s support included a massive $8 million, post-Billionaire Ken Griffin puts in another $500,000 for Rahm reelection | Chicago:







Updated: @TeachForAmerica tried to disappear their disappearing act | Cloaking Inequity

Updated: @TeachForAmerica tried to disappear their disappearing act | Cloaking Inequity:



Updated: @TeachForAmerica tried to disappear their disappearing act

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Honestly, I would really write about something beside TFA today. But I can’t. In the post Do you have five minutes to understand whether @TeachForAmerica is effective? I posted the following figure from Bloomberg.
Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 9.41.57 AM
More than 87 percent of TFA teachers say they don’t plan on remaining teachers throughout their careers, compared with 26.3 percent of non-TFA teachers working in the same subjects, grades, and schools.
To cover this up, TFA’s lobbyist have been busy beavers in Texas. TFA’s lobbyist and Rep Justin Rodriguez are trying to hide the fact that TFA teachers in the latest data (as of last week) are now reporting incredible future turnover rates. They have written HB 1060 to disappear TFA’s disappearing act.
Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 11.31.04 AM
Who is currently lobbying for TFA in Texas? How much are they spending? Thanks to Karen in Houston for digging Updated: @TeachForAmerica tried to disappear their disappearing act | Cloaking Inequity:

School Choice and the Fear of "Those People"

School Choice and the Fear of "Those People":



SCHOOL CHOICE AND THE FEAR OF “THOSE PEOPLE”

walking the line
Rigid, compliant behavior is the main focus of many charter schools in poor neighborhoods. Photo Credit: johngirton.me via Compfight cc




“School Choice” is more about the deep fear of “those people” than proponents will admit. 
“Those people?” They are The They – the ones who you fear will corrupt your children if they sit in the same class with them.
“Those people” are the ones who just can’t wear the same uniform or school colors as your son or daughter, because, well, if they do, they and your kid may start thinking that they are peers.
Can’t have that.
The fuel
Group songs on a charter bus that got two students and the SAE fraternity kicked off the OU Campus are based on the same fear. That offending well-rehearsed, informal song captured on video was revealing of how we train a certain class of youth to think about “those people”.
The song rehearses the idea that we just can’t allow “niggers” to get into our fraternity, folks. Our children might start thinking that black people have a place in our society when we really don’t want them to.
Fear and private schools
That fear of “those people” is a boon to private schools that may not openly try to segregate our youth, but traffic in segregation under the guise of “high standards” or “rigor”.
And having known private school principals and teachers during my career, I can say that they are earnest in their desire for high academic excellence. But, this is not about that.
The urge toward private schooling for the consumer parent is driven by the desire to segregate their children from what they consider to be lesser classes, or corrupt people.
It may not be sinister in a direct kind of way. But more often than not, it really is. It’s based on a deeply dark view that certain classes of people have problems written into their DNA and will never improve, no matter what.
Giving up on whole classes of people
School Choice gives up on the idea that the whole of a public can receive a good education that prepares all of our youth to enter a democracy as thinking, creative participants.
Instead, it relegates the poor to attending rigid training academies School Choice and the Fear of "Those People":

LATEST NEWS AND COMMENT FROM EDUCATION

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