Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Charters and Choice: Research Shows Negative Impact - Living in Dialogue

Charters and Choice: Research Shows Negative Impact - Living in Dialogue:

Charters and Choice: Research Shows Negative Impact 


The contemporary school reform movement was rooted in the Michael Deaver, Lee Atwater, Karl Rove, and Dick Morris era of public relations spin.  Being able to hire the best possible public relations expertise, reformers borrowed from Deaver’s success in using photos of Ronald Reagan getting off his helicopter, with his hand cupped on his ear, not being able to hear or answer the questions that reporters shouted at him.  He and his successors understood the truism that, “the eye always predominates over the ear when there is a fundamental clash between the two.”
Accountability-driven reformers also drew upon another legacy of Reagan era public relations – the proliferation of “think tanks” publishing “papers” that are touted as research.  Deep-pocketed donors fund an alphabet soup of advocacy organizations to publish “pseudo-studies” that typically conclude that test-driven, choice-driven policy experiments “can” increase student performance.  Since most commentators will read no more than the studies’ abstracts or the sponsors’ press releases, the papers provide an endless supply of soundbites and power points. The press continually gets eye-fulls of graphics indicating that accountability and charter schools can increase student performance. Rarely are these studies peer reviewed and almost none ask the questions that policy researchers should investigate. Few ask what will be the most likely results of reforms.  These papers shout out the supposed benefits of favored policies while ignoring their inherent costs.
Learning from the Federal Market-based Reforms: Lessons for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), edited by William Mathis and Tina Trujillo, is a wonderful corrective for the unfortunate trend of twisting evidence to reach predetermined edu-political agendas.  Learning from the Federal Market-based Reforms is a part of the National Education Policy Center series of publications, and it comes from a perspective that is very different than that of test-driven, competition-driven reformers. In contrast to so much of the research generated by reform advocates – where the best papers are often science-informed but shun the scientific method – the NEPC’s work measures up to the highest standards of  academic excellence.  As with most social science, the contributors to this 697 page anthology come with a perspective(s), but they are objective and intellectually honest.
“The Impacts of School Choice Reforms on Student Achievement,” by Gary Miron and Jessica Urschel, is one of the anthology’s best examples of an analysis which is essential for the discussion of charter schools and other forms of school choice.  It evaluates of the quality and the social scientific rigor of studies on the effectiveness (in terms of raising test scores) of vouchers, home schools, magnet schools, online learning and charter schools.  It then calculates how much each of those approaches increase or decrease (or fail to make much of a difference to) student performance.  In other words, Miron and Urschel provide a thoroughly researched but readable guide into the benefits these policies can contribute. Moreover, their graphics convey both the number and the quality of the studies, and whether they produce slightly or very positive or negative or mixed results.  These scattergrams thus provide a Rorschach test.  Readers are free to decide whether the various forms of choice are likely to produce gains that are big enough to justify policies that also have costs.
Starting with the last issue, Miron and Urschel only found three meaningful studies in terms of student performance results for virtual schools.  All three focused on virtual charters. Like the pro-reform CREDO, “The Impacts of School Choice Reforms on Student Achievement” concludes that students in the virtual schools made far smaller gains in comparison to demographically similar students in brick and mortar schools.  Miron and Urschel also conclude that the 19 studies of home schools were mostly of lower quality, while the 15 studies of vouchers were of higher quality.  The Weighted Mean Gains of home schools were the highest of all approaches (1.33 on a +2 to a -2 scale), while the voucher gains were the second-highest (.62). I doubt many people, regardless of their opinions on home schooling and vouchers will be determined by the test score increases that they produce.  Home school decisions will include a great deal of consideration of the downside of not sending children to a public school with their peers. Vouchers debateCharters and Choice: Research Shows Negative Impact - Living in Dialogue:
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Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 10/4/16


Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 10/4/16


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The Unintended Consequences of Taking a Hard Line on School Discipline - The New York Times






John Thompson: The Three Faces of a New Era of School Improvement | Huffington Post - Linkis.com
The Three Faces of a New Era of School Improvement | Huffington Post - Linkis.com : The Three Faces of a New Era of School Improvement NPR Ed reached out to education leaders from across the country and found that “some education leaders are rushing to embrace the newly frank conversation about the racial impact of education reforms. Others are caught awkwardly in the middle. And some — especiall
Nevada Education Savings Account Vouchers Ruled Unconstitutional by Nevada’s Supreme Court | janresseger
Nevada Education Savings Account Vouchers Ruled Unconstitutional by Nevada’s Supreme Court | janresseger : Nevada Education Savings Account Vouchers Ruled Unconstitutional by Nevada’s Supreme Court In a short brief, the National Education Association concisely defines Education Savings Accounts —the kind of school voucher program that was found unconstitutional by the Nevada Supreme Court last we
Relay Grad School of Ed Operation Rejected in Pennsylvania | deutsch29
Relay Grad School of Ed Operation Rejected in Pennsylvania | deutsch29 : Relay Grad School of Ed Operation Rejected in Pennsylvania Since February 2014, corporate reform entity, Relay Graduate School of Education, has been trying to gain approval to operate as a masters-degree-granting entity in Pennsylvania. Relay is not seeking for authorization in Pennsylvania; Relay wanted to establish a phys
School choice not the right choice for our kids
School choice not the right choice for our kids : School choice not the right choice for our kids Five years ago, the state Legislature considered forcing all schools to play by the same rules when it comes to allowing students from outside their districts to enroll. It didn't get very far, due, in part, to stringent opposition from districts like Grosse Pointe Schools, where the Grosse Pointe ci
CURMUDGUCATION: Duncan Scolds Education Schools
CURMUDGUCATION: Duncan Scolds Education Schools : Duncan Scolds Education Schools When former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan isn't busy joining another board of some education-flavored enterprise (his latest is Revolution Foods, an over-hyped cafeteria supply company), he still finds time to offer uninformed opinions about education itself. Pay me to have an opinion about school lunch? Retire
New Grants Announced: Education Department Continues to Pour Millions Into Charter School Black Hole
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National teachers’ union: Trump’s behavior greenlights bullying and bigotry in our schools
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Eschools say they will appeal audits determining inflated attendance | The Columbus Dispatch
Eschools say they will appeal audits determining inflated attendance | The Columbus Dispatch : Eschools say they will appeal audits determining inflated attendance On top of the more than $60 million they may seek to recover from ECOT, the Ohio Department of Education also could demand about $23 million more from eight other online schools for inflated attendance. On the same day ECOT was dealt a
How Success Academy Charter Network Uses Children | Huffington Post
How Success Academy Charter Network Uses Children | Huffington Post : How Success Academy Charter Network Uses Children Success Academy Charter Schools were closed on Wednesday September 28. It wasn’t a national or religious holiday, it hasn’t snowed yet, and public schools were open, teachers were teaching, and children were learning. Success Academy Charter Schools were closed last Wednesday so
The Unintended Consequences of Taking a Hard Line on School Discipline - The New York Times
The Unintended Consequences of Taking a Hard Line on School Discipline - The New York Times : The Unintended Consequences of Taking a Hard Line on School Discipline It did not take long for school safety agents in New York to find their first gun of the new school year. Day 1 had barely begun at a Brooklyn high school last month when the officers stopped a 15-year-old student who had stowed a loa
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Chicago's Troubled Schools Made Wall Street $110 Million - NASDAQ.com : Chicago's Troubled Schools Made Wall Street $110 Million The Chicago Board of Education was desperate for cash. Two Wall Street players were willing to lend it -- at a price. J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Chicago-based Nuveen Asset Management have made realized and paper profits exceeding $ 110 million on purchases this year of
Big Education Ape Will Return Soon!

OCT 01

Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 10/1/16
Special Nite Cap: Catch Up on Today's Post 10/1/16 Featured Post NPE Action Endorses Hillary Rodham Clinton for President - NPE Action WHEN IT COMES TO MEANINGFUL REFORM AT LAUSD, THE L.A. TIMES ALWAYS GIVES THE 

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John Thompson: The Three Faces of a New Era of School Improvement | Huffington Post - Linkis.com

The Three Faces of a New Era of School Improvement | Huffington Post - Linkis.com:

The Three Faces of a New Era of School Improvement


NPR Ed reached out to education leaders from across the country and found that “some education leaders are rushing to embrace the newly frank conversation about the racial impact of education reforms. Others are caught awkwardly in the middle. And some — especially conservative — reformers feel alienated.” NPR’sAnya Kamenetz cited one of those conservative reformers, Rick Hess, who observes, “‘We’re watching the old NCLB/Race to the Top coalition come apart, and we’ll see what will come out the other side.’”
But it isn’t just racial divisions that are tearing apart the contemporary school improvement efforts of the last generation. Educators of all races, from various ideologies, and committed to very different school policies are also split over fundamental differences as to how we in a democracy work with each other. The unraveling of the corporate reform coalition is due, in large part, because of the ways they treat people who disagree with them.
National Press Club panel discussion clarified the positions of today’s three dominant schools of education policy. Shavar Jeffries of the Democrats for Education Reform embodies the neoliberal wing of the corporate reform movement. Andrew Smarick, from Bellwhether Education Partners, displays the new face of their former partners, conservative reformers. The panel also included an open and welcoming face of teacher-led school improvement, Lily Eskelsen Garcia, the president of the National Education Association.
The Education Writers Association’s Caroline Hendrie started the discussion with a mention of the breakup of the reform coalition. As Smarick explains, liberal reformers pushed top-down technocratic approaches that are now being rejected, while conservatives pledge fidelity to “the Market.” Of course, liberals wouldn’t trust this sort of unfettered competition in any other public sector and, I would think, even neoliberals would reject the granting of such unchecked power to corporate interests. It certainly isn’t a viable path to racial justice.
Corporate reformers, however, have enthusiastically supported unfair competition where test-driven micromanaging is imposed on traditional public schools as they empowered charters to “cream” the easier-to-teach students and to promote segregation, behaviorist pedagogies and discipline, in order to defeat neighborhood schools. (The pedagogies also help charters to push out students who make it more difficult to raise test scores.) Their goal was defeating teachers unions and others who disagreed with their agenda. To do so, corporate reformers dismissed a generation of the poorest children of color as collateral damage in the fight against their adult opponents.
The NEA’s Eskelsen Garcia best explains how the test-driven, competition-driven reform alliance held together for nearly a generation. In the 1980s, conservatives would demand “Results!” Liberals fought for “Equality.” The contemporary reform movement took the shortcut of demanding “Equal Results!”
In other words, reformers chose to pretend that equal results could be produced on the cheap, without tackling the inequality which defeats so many of the highest-poverty schools. The stress of high stakes testing would somehow overcome the The Three Faces of a New Era of School Improvement | Huffington Post - Linkis.com:

Nevada Education Savings Account Vouchers Ruled Unconstitutional by Nevada’s Supreme Court | janresseger

Nevada Education Savings Account Vouchers Ruled Unconstitutional by Nevada’s Supreme Court | janresseger:

Nevada Education Savings Account Vouchers Ruled Unconstitutional by Nevada’s Supreme Court

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In a short brief, the National Education Association concisely defines Education Savings Accounts—the kind of school voucher program that was found unconstitutional by the Nevada Supreme Court last week:
“Education Savings Accounts (ESA) are the latest trend in publicly subsidized private school education… (T)he common factor is that these programs pay parents all or a large portion of the money the state would otherwise have spent to educate their children in exchange for an agreement to forego their right to a public education. Funds deposited into such accounts may be used for any number of expenses, including private school tuition, fees, textbooks; tutoring and test prep; homeschooling curriculum and supplemental materials; special instruction and therapeutic services; transportation; and management fees. These programs also permit parents to roll over unused funds for use in subsequent years and to invest a portion of the funds into college savings plans.”
Education Savings Accounts are advocated by the American Federation for Children (Betsy DeVos’s organization) and the Friedman Foundation.  The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has a model Education Savings Account bill ready to be introduced in any state legislature. (If you are unfamiliar with ALEC, check out this post.) As of 2015, NEA reported that five states—Arizona, Florida, Nevada, Mississippi and Tennessee—had passed legislation to establish Education Savings Accounts.
Nevada’s program was said to be the most radical. In June of 2015, after Nevada’s law was passed, Lyndsey Layton and Emma Brown reported for the Washington Post: “Starting next school year, any parent in Nevada can pull a child from the state’s public schools and take tax dollars with them, giving families the option to use public money to pay for private or parochial school or even for home schooling… Nevada’s law is singular because all of the state’s 450,000 K-12 public school children—regardless of income—are eligible to take the money to whatever school they choose.” While most voucher programs are designed for poor and special needs students, every student in Nevada was going to be able to take $5,100 (or Nevada Education Savings Account Vouchers Ruled Unconstitutional by Nevada’s Supreme Court | janresseger:


Relay Grad School of Ed Operation Rejected in Pennsylvania | deutsch29

Relay Grad School of Ed Operation Rejected in Pennsylvania | deutsch29:

Relay Grad School of Ed Operation Rejected in Pennsylvania


Since February 2014, corporate reform entity, Relay Graduate School of Education, has been trying to gain approval to operate as a masters-degree-granting entity in Pennsylvania.
Relay is not seeking for authorization in Pennsylvania; Relay wanted to establish a physical presence in Pennsylvania to offer its New York-approved Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT).
On July 26, 2016, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) denied Relay’s application.
In sum, PDE details its reasons for Relay-PA rejection as follows:
  • Relay was unable “to differentiate between the requirements for approval to offer courses… that would lead to a MAT degree and the requirements… to offer a post-baccalaureate teacher preparation program” (page 8). In other words, Relay apparently saw earning a masters degree as equal to attaining a BA/BS, tag-on teacher certification.
  • Relay proposed that 13 individuals would serve as administrative personnel– but only 2 would be physically stationed in PA. The other 11 would remain in NY and be available “off site” on a part time basis. Moreover, regarding the 2 located in PA, Relay “failed to provide sufficient evidence” that these 2 would be “appropriately qualified to operate the education enterprise” and that only 2 individuals would be an adequate number to run the PA site (page 8).
  • Relay proposed a 3-member advisory committee without “a background in higher education administration or in the assessment of higher education program quality” (page 9). In addition, 2 of the 3 proposed advisors are “employed at Mastery Charter school, which is the proposed site for the operation of the Relay education enterprise” (page 9). Whereas the advisors could be appointed to the Relay advisory board since they are not employed by Relay, the fact that these 2 advisors work at the proposed Relay site “does create concerns about their independent advisory capacity especially because, as noted above, they lack a background in higher education administration and in assessing the quality of a higher education program” (page 9). In other words, these two proposed advisors appear to be advisors chosen for convenience and not for professional qualification.
  • Relay’s MAT has no masters-level research component. Relay tried to pass classroom assessment techniques as the masters-level research component. PDE didn’t buy it: “Student assessment is a skill required for classroom teachers, but it is not  form of academic research, which requires the review and citation of academic literature and the application of quantitative and qualitative analysis” (page 9). Relay also contradicted itself regarding a “masters defense seminar” as a “cornerstone” research component when Relay’s own literature described the seminar as an elective. PDE concludes, “Relay not only provided Relay Grad School of Ed Operation Rejected in Pennsylvania | deutsch29:


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