Monday, August 17, 2015

Chicago Tribune Editor Kristen McQueary’s Romanticized View of Paul Vallas’ Role in Post-Katrina New Orleans | deutsch29

Chicago Tribune Editor Kristen McQueary’s Romanticized View of Paul Vallas’ Role in Post-Katrina New Orleans | deutsch29:

Chicago Tribune Editor Kristen McQueary’s Romanticized View of Paul Vallas’ Role in Post-Katrina New Orleans



On August 13, 2015Chicago Tribune editor Kristen McQueary published an editorial in which she wished a “Hurricane Katrina” upon the city of Chicago.
A Katrina would force Chicago to “hit the reset button,” and that is why she was “praying for a real storm” to hit Chicago.
It should come as no surprise that she found herself in a storm as a result– a media storm publicly chastising her for her callousness. (See here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here, and here.)
The August 14, 2015, International Business Times reports on the Chicago Tribune’s initial efforts to quell the resulting swift and powerful negative media response:
After outrage broke out on Twitter, the Chicago Tribune quickly changed the headline of McQueary’s piece from “In Chicago, Wishing for a Hurricane Katrina” to ““Chicago, New Orleans, and Rebirth.” The article was also edited after its original publication to tone down some of the statements readers found most inflammatory. But the New Orleans Times-Picayune archived the original column, and all citations in this article come from the first release of McQueary’s op-ed.
The first link in this post is also to McQueary’s original column entitled, “In Chicago, Wishing for a Hurricane Katrina.”
In her original editorial, McQueary not only glamorizes Katrina’s destruction; she also Chicago Tribune Editor Kristen McQueary’s Romanticized View of Paul Vallas’ Role in Post-Katrina New Orleans | deutsch29:


Alexandra Miletta: It’s All About the Bell Curve: Sheri Lederman’s Day in Court

Alexandra Miletta: It’s All About the Bell Curve: Sheri Lederman’s Day in Court:

It’s All About the Bell Curve: Sheri Lederman’s Day in Court



I traveled up to Albany this morning to hear the oral arguments in the Lederman v. King case presented to Acting Supreme Court Justice Roger McDonough by Bruce Lederman, and Colleen Galligan representing the State Education Department. This is the first time in my life I have sat in a courtroom proceeding. I don’t even watch Law and Order. Let’s just say I was most definitely not in my element. But I’m a pretty good observer of human behavior, a decent note-taker, and I had personal reasons for caring deeply about the outcome of this case, above and beyond all the reasons we all should care about a case that may have far-reaching implications for the misguided reforms of Race to the Top (see full disclosure below). What I witnessed was a masterful take down of the we-need-objectivity rhetoric that is plaguing education. So I should begin by saying that I am hopeful, because it seems someone with the power to make a difference gets it. Judge McDonough gets that it’s all about the bell curve, and the bell curve is biased and subjective.

In case you need a refresher on how test scoring works these days (and who doesn’t) I suggest you start with the excellent fact sheets from Fair Test, first on norm-referenced tests, or NRTs, and then oncriterion-referenced tests, or CRTs, and tests used to measure performance against state standards. In particular note the following important points:

“NRTs are designed to sort and rank students 'on the curve,' not to see if they met a standard or criterion. Therefore, NRTs should not be used to assess whether students have met standards. However, in some states or districts a NRT is used to measure student learning in relation to standards. Specific cut-off scores on the NRT are then chosen (usually by a committee) to separate levels of achievement on the standards. In some cases, a CRT is made using technical procedures developed for NRTs, causing the CRT to sort students in ways that are inappropriate for standards-based decisions.”

As you may notice, we’ve come a long way from getting a 91 out of 100 on a test and knowing that was an A-. Testing today is obtuse and confusing by design. In New York State, we boil it down to a ranking from one to four. That’s right, there’s even jargon for “ones and twos” that is particularly heinous when you learn that politicians have interests in making more than 50% of students fall in those “failing” categories. Today the state released the test score resultsfor students in grades 3-8 and their so-called “proficiency” is reported as below 40% achieving the passing levels. By design the public is meant to read this as miserable failure.

The political narrative of public education failure extends next to the teachers, who must demonstrate student learning based on these faulty tests, even if they don’t teach the subjects tested, and even if they teach students who face hurdles and hardships that have a tremendous impact on their ability to do well on the tests. In Sheri’s case, her rating plunged from 14 out of 20 points to 1 out of 20 points on student growth measures. Yet her students perform exceedingly well on the exams; once you are a “four” you can’t go up to a “four plus” because you’ve hit the ceiling. In fact, one wrong answer could unreasonably mark you as a “three” and you would never know. Similarly, the teacher receives a student growth score that is also based on a comparison to other teachers. When it emerged in the hearing today that the model, also known as VAM, or value-added, pre-determined that 7% of the teachers would be rated “ineffective” Judge McDonough caught on to the injustice that lies at the heart of the bell curve logic: where you rank in the ratings is SUBJECTIVE.

In his affidavits, Professor Aaron Pallas of Teachers College brilliantly explains the many flaws with this misuse of student test Alexandra Miletta: It’s All About the Bell Curve: Sheri Lederman’s Day in Court:

The “turnaround” snafu–deliberately making neighborhood public schools fail? | Bob Braun's Ledger

The “turnaround” snafu–deliberately making neighborhood public schools fail? | Bob Braun's Ledger:

The “turnaround” snafu–deliberately making neighborhood public schools fail?



Turnaround--their latest screw-up


The latest round of state-mandated school “reforms” imposed on the children, parents, and employees in the Newark public schools has created a bizarre situation in which virtually the entire staffs of so-called “turnaround” schools will be new and unknown to both neighborhood residents and to each other, many of these new teachers already have signaled their opposition to the changes mandated by the reform, and  faculty will be working two different schedules in the same schools.
That could hardly be a recipe for success. So, maybe it is a deliberate plan for failure.
“It’s probably the most destructive action taken yet so far by the state,” said one teacher caught up in the turmoil who, out of fear of retribution, asked to remain anonymous. “It’s massive teacher swapping without any thought given to what the consequences are to children.”
The teacher called it  the “One Newark plan for teachers”–after the “One Newark” universal student enrollment plan that has scattered children to schools throughout the city without regard to family needs. The new Newark superintendent, Christopher Cerf, has refused demands to end “One Newark” and also isn’t likely to stop the destructive “turnaround.”
The president of the Newark Teachers Union, John Abeigon, called the obvious screw-up an effort to impose the “shock doctrine” on schools, creating “intentional chaos” and deliberately trying to make neighborhood public schools fail.
However, neither the school board, the mayor’s office, nor Cerf’s office, would comment on the bureaucratic snafu.
The absurd set of circumstances was created when then state-imposed superintendent Cami Anderson announced that nine more schools would be added to the list of so-called “turnaround” schools that would–theoretically–operate on an extended day schedule with a staff of committed volunteers who had bought into the reform.
But it hasn’t turned out that way. Teachers had the right to opt out of the reform although they were warned they would be transferred to other schools, no matter The “turnaround” snafu–deliberately making neighborhood public schools fail? | Bob Braun's Ledger:

Standardized Test Refusals Ripple Through Statewide Results | KPLU Seattle

Standardized Test Refusals Ripple Through Statewide Results | KPLU News for Seattle and the Northwest:

Standardized Test Refusals Ripple Through Statewide Results



New statewide test scores released Monday largely confirm what a sneak peek suggested earlier this summer: Pass rates on the new, tougher assessments have dropped, though by less than many feared. But those results come with an asterisk in one grade.
Washington students outperformed the scores from a national trial run of the Smarter Balanced Assessments last year. That’s in line with preliminary results released in July.
What those results didn’t show, however, was what happens when you factor in the kids who declined to take the test, whose scores get averaged in as zeroes. In grades 3-8 it was just a few percent, but in grade 11, about half the students refused the test.
This year the Smarter Balanced tests are not required for those high school juniors to graduate, but they will be phased in as a graduation requirements starting next year.
State Superintendent Randy Dorn says he agrees with the refusers that high school students are over-tested, but says the new Smarter Balanced assessments are still an important tool.
“I think it provides kids information about where they’re at. I think it provides parents information. And it’s just an element of your educational system. It’s not theelement,” Dorn said.
Test refusals brought the share of 11th graders meeting standards down to 26 percent in English, and just 14 percent in math. They also shrank the state’s overall participation rate below a threshold that could trigger sanctions by the U.S. Department of Education.
Dorn says he doesn’t think the federal government is looking to act punitively, though.  Standardized Test Refusals Ripple Through Statewide Results | KPLU News for Seattle and the Northwest:


from a loyal teachers union member – Dear NEA Retired: HOW DARE YOU! | Reclaim Reform

from a loyal teachers union member – Dear NEA Retired: HOW DARE YOU! | Reclaim Reform:

from a loyal teachers union member – Dear NEA Retired: HOW DARE YOU!



Today, August 17, I received the new Summer 2015 issue of neaTODAY: for NEA-Retired Members with the following cover article:
NO PLANS TO RETIRE! ~ 87-year-old school counselor’s high-touch, personal approach boosts student success.
87 - never retire NEA
NEA President Lily Eskelsen Garcia and the NEA Board continue to take funding, in spite of openly promising otherwise, from Bill Gates and other billionaire funders of Common Core State Standards. They accept that money for an NEA Foundation. Therefore they approve of CCSS which comes with attached high stakes tests. The high stakes tests are used as hire-fire decision makers for teacher evaluations. Value Added Modeling (VAM and the other alphabet soup mix of unproven teacher evaluation models) allows teachers to be fired without just cause before they become too old, too ill or too expensive by reaching retirement age. The cover story lauding a person who has no plans to retire sends a “happy” message that is redolent of Gomer Pyle as a US Marine. However, Gomer was a mere television amusement which was never meant to be even close to reality. The NEA article is meant to be what it states.
I intend no personal slight or insult to the lauded counselor, Lillian Orlich, who is certainly a fine person and a fine counselor.
Where are VAM points for a “school counselor’s high-touch, personal approach boosts student success.” Are we really meant to believe that a “high-touch, personal approach” boosts student success? Where is this on any teacher evaluation list?
In my little county of Brevard, Florida over 350 career teachers have left teaching. The same in happening across America which is facing an accredited teacher shortage.
I am a loyal NEA member and have been for over four decades. I served NEA in Illinois on our local faculty association board for years prior to my retirement. I attended this year’s NEA-RA in Orlando not as an elected delegate but to chauffeur a friend and delegate one day, to have dinner and supportive conversations with Illinois delegates another day, and to attend a BAT event on a third day. I shook hands and talked with the Illinois Education Association President. Even though I need not defend my loyalty, I want to make it very from a loyal teachers union member – Dear NEA Retired: HOW DARE YOU! | Reclaim Reform:

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 8/17/15


SPECIAL NITE CAP 

CORPORATE ED REFORM


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YESTERDAY

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Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 8/16/15
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