Reports Lack Compelling Evidence of Voucher Benefits | National Education Policy Center

“The two reports focus on randomized studies of the effects of vouchers on education outcomes and both conclude that vouchers have positive impacts. However, both reports are marred by a number of serious problems and errors, including not addressing the shortcomings of the theoretical underpinnings of vouchers, methods that bias the selections of studies to review, misrepresentations of the body of evidence represented in the research literature, and failure to acknowledge the limitations of their approaches.

Professor Lubienski concludes that the manifold serious flaws of each report undercut the trustworthiness of their conclusions and negate any utility for policymakers.”

Read the summary analysis here:
http://nepc.colorado.edu/newsletter/2016/06/meta-analysi
Then,  follow the links to the full reports from there.
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As Detroit’s Schools Collapse, Walton Billionaires Put Another $250 Million into Charter Expansion | Diane Ravitch’s blog

Dr Diane Ravitch writes: Irony: on the same day that the New York Times reports that charters and competition have caused an unprecedented collapse of education in Detroit, the Wall Street Journal reports that the Walton Family Foundation (Walmart) will pump another $250 million this year alone into starting more new charters. The Waltons–who are all billionaires–are doubling down on failure. They are doing to public schools what Walmart does to communities: destroying the competition, disrupting the community, and targeting public education for privatization. [  74 more words. ]

As Detroit’s Schools Collapse, Walton Billionaires Put Another $250 Million into Charter Expansion
https://dianeravitch.net/2016/06/28/as-detroits-schools-collapse-walton-billionaires-put-another-250-million-into-charter-expansion/

Teacher pay around the world | Brookings Institution

While American salaries aren’t the lowest, many other countries not only pay better, but the gap is really, really big.

The simple summary: Other countries make teaching a more financially attractive career for college graduates than we do.

The facts are the facts. But allow me to predict one response to these facts: “Teachers aren’t motivated by money, they teach because they love it.” Often true. And I’ve noticed that the people who say that teachers teach for love are quite often themselves very good teachers. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine someone who teaches well who doesn’t like their students. However, it’s very easy to imagine many, many potential teachers—who would also love their students just as much—who have made the decision to forego a teaching career in order to better provide for their family.

Dollars aren’t the only thing that determines career choice. Prestige and working conditions matter too. (Finland pays a fair amount better than the U.S. The prestige attached to being a teacher is enormously higher.) My guess is that being a teacher has both more prestige and better working conditions in other industrialized countries than here at home. (How do administrators treat teachers? How do parents treat teachers? Heck even, how do students treat teachers?) No data though, so either facts or anecdotes from those who know more about teaching in other countries are in order.

Read the full story here:
http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/brown-center-chalkboard/posts/2016/06/20-teacher-pay-world-startz

Six Films on the Financial Crisis | BillMoyers.com

Given a theme as dramatic and consequential as America’s financial collapse, many filmmakers have risen to the challenge of going behind the headlines to tell important stories and make critical points that need to be shared if we’re to learn anything from the crisis. Below are some of those important movies and documentaries. Please share your own favorite financial-themed films in the comments below.
http://billmoyers.com/content/six-films-on-the-financial-crisis/

John Kiriakou: What Does G4S Know About the Orlando Nightclub Massacre? – Truthdig

Much has been made in recent weeks of Omar Mateen’s background. The perpetrator of the Orlando, Fla., massacre was alternately a “radical Islamist,” a deeply closeted gay man, a wife abuser, a mental case, everybody’s best friend in high school and a loser. The list goes on. But what the mainstream media—and the government, for that matter—have not talked about is the fact that Mateen was employed at the time of his crime by G4S, a London-based company that is one of the largest mercenary firms in the world, with intelligence contractors deployed in war zones and hot spots around the globe.

This could be a coincidence. Or it could be something more sinister. Was Mateen some sort of Manchurian candidate, for example?

For now, nobody is talking.

The public, however, has a right to know what is going on in the shady world of intelligence contracting.

Read more here:
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/what_does_g4s_know_about_the_orlando_nightclub_massacre_20160627

Opposition to the Common Core now has bipartisan support in Washington State

Opposition to the Common Core now has bipartisan support in Washington State

From Truth in American Education:

bipartisan-logo

Washington State GOP Supports Student Privacy, Opposes Common Core

The Washington State Republicans passed a student privacy resolution at their recent state convention last month in Pasco, WA. They also passed language opposing Common Core into their state party platform. Opposition to Common Core has crossed party lines, and is truly a bipartisan issue in Washington State. Last year, you may recall, the Washington State Democratic Party passed a resolution opposing Common Core.

Here is the resolution language which was written by our own J.R. Wilson.

Student Privacy Resolution…

Seattle Education

From Truth in American Education:

bipartisan-logo

Washington State GOP Supports Student Privacy, Opposes Common Core

The Washington State Republicans passed a student privacy resolution at their recent state convention last month in Pasco, WA.  They also passed language opposing Common Core into their state party platform. Opposition to Common Core has crossed party lines, and is truly a bipartisan issue in Washington State. Last year, you may recall, the Washington State Democratic Party passed a resolution opposing Common Core.

Here is the resolution language which was written by our own J.R. Wilson.

Student Privacy Resolution

Whereas, privacy rights of students and parents are not forfeited upon public or private school enrollment and attendance or providing home based instruction; 

Whereas, non-cognitive factors include, but are not limited to, such things as attitudes, beliefs, attributes, feelings, mindsets, social and emotional learning, metacognitive learning skills, motivation, grit, tenacity, perseverance, self-regulation…

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Students’ rights in charter schools: There aren’t many

A series of court rulings suggests that students who attend charter schools do not have the same rights as public school students.

Quick, reader: If you dramatically scale up schools in which students have fewer rights than students who attend traditional public schools, with what do you end up? If you answered *more students with fewer rights,* congratulations! You have won the opportunity to learn more on this important, yet little discussed topic. Our expert witness today: one Dr. Preston Green, a professor of law and educational leadership, who has been monitoring a series of court rulings regarding the rights of students in charter schools. Or make that the lack of rights. Dr. Green warns that both state and federal courts have issued rulings stating that students in charters do not have the same due process rights as public-school students. So what does this mean for cities like Los Angeles where a dramatic expansion of charter schools is on the table? *Half of the publicly-funded schools in Los Angeles might be legally permitted to ‘dismiss’ students without due process.* says Dr. Green. *We have to ask ourselves if such a scenario is acceptable.*

I asked Dr. Green to explain some recent court rulings on student rights, and how they relate to the larger debate over whether charter schools are public or private entities. Take it away, Dr. Green. Court is in session…

Seattle Education

From edushyster at edushyster.com:

Signing their rights away

scalesA series of court rulings suggests that students who attend charter schools do not have the same rights as public school students.

Quick, reader: If you dramatically scale up schools in which students have fewer rights than students who attend traditional public schools, with what do you end up? If you answered *more students with fewer rights,* congratulations! You have won the opportunity to learn more on this important, yet little discussed topic. Our expert witness today: one Dr. Preston Green, a professor of law and educational leadership, who has been monitoring a series of court rulings regarding the rights of students in charter schools. Or make that the lack of rights. Dr. Green warns that both state and federal courts have issued rulings stating that students in charters do not have the same due process rights as public-school students. So what…

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WWMDMS – 3/11/16 | from the BustED Pencils blog…

WWMDMS?
(What would Matt Damon’s Mom say? Listen in to find out!)
Can you believe some some people now want to measure such things as joy and determination with standardized tests?  Really? Joy and a standardized test? How about authentic assessment? What say you Nancy?
http://bustedpencils.com/wwmdms/wwmdms-31116/

It’s “easy being GREEN” for Dr. Jill Stein | BustED Pencils

Feature Interview:   Dr. Jill Stein,

Green Party presidential candidate

“Presumptive Nominees” Trump and Clinton.  But what about Stein?  Wait till you hear her powerfulideas on public education!

Fully Leaded Education News:  Trump the bully   Activist of the Week: Emily Kaplan (blogger for Defending the Early Years) — Not just teaching, but making public all things troubling about schools!   What Would Matt Damon’s Mom Say (WWMDMS):  You have to listen to what Nancy Says about Donald Trump? GASP!!   Moment of Zinn

http://bustedpencils.com/episode/episode-18-easy-green-dr-jill-stein/

Nurturing Your Writing Plus Shareworthy Reading and Writing Links June 26

“If you want your writing life to thrive, you must tend and nurture your writing practice with care and intention. You cannot simply throw a few seeds in the proverbial dirt and hope for the best. You must create the right environment in which your writing can grow. You have to establish a regular practice of weeding and watering, and make sure your tiny seedlings get enough sunlight and warmth. You might even need to talk to them kindly to encourage them to grow.”

Live to Write - Write to Live

The house may need new shingles and paint, but at least we have some cheerful flowers to brighten the door. The house may need new shingles and paint, but at least we have some cheerful flowers to brighten the door.

Last week, Deborah published Weeding and Words, a lovely  post in which she used weeding her garden as an apt analogy for editing her writing. Like Deborah, I have been spending some time tending to domesticated flora, and – though I am much less ambitious than she when it comes to gardening – I am very much enjoying the experience. This being my and my daughter’s first spring/summer in our new home, we are starting small – some hanging baskets for the front door, a tiny vegetable garden in the yard, and a modest planter of annuals on the back stoop.

This little, raised-bed garden was my daughter's idea, but it's kind of growing on me. (Pun intended!) This little, raised-bed garden was my daughter’s idea, but it’s kind of growing on me. (Pun intended!)

It occurred to me as I was lugging the watering can from baskets…

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