Residents of CO, CT, DE, IL, ME, MI, and NH, the Heads of the Department of Education of Your States Have Failed You | Manuel Alfaro | Pulse | LinkedIn

Residents of CO, CT, DE, IL, ME, MI, and NH, the heads of the Department of Education of your states have failed to protect the best interests of your students and your families, opting instead to protect their own interests and the interests of the College Board.

Over the last five months, I have written about several serious problems with the redesigned SAT. The problems include:

  • Development processes that do not meet industry standards; false claims made (in public documents) by the College Board about those processes; false claims made (in state proposals and contracts) by the College Board about those processes.
  • Poor quality of items—documented in letters and comments from content committee members.
  • Extensive revisions of a large percentage of operational items—the College Board claims that this happens only on the RAREST of occasions.
  • Test speediness resulting from the use of the wrong test specifications during the construction of operational SAT forms—use of the wrong specifications resulted in operational tests that, according to formal timing studies conducted by the College Board, require an additional 21-32 minutes (on top of the 80 minutes already allowed) to complete.

Under normal circumstances, the department of education of the client states would have imposed heavy penalties on the College Board; suspended administration of the flawed SATs; and demanded immediate corrective actions.

For example, in 2010, the state of Florida fined Pearson nearly $15 million, which Pearson paid. (Source: www.tampabay.com/news/education/k12/florida-hits-fcat-contractor-pearson-with-another-12-million-in-penalties/1110688.) The nearly $15 million fines were imposed because the FCAT results were delivered late. Imagine what the fines would have been if the problems had been as severe as the ones I’ve disclosed about the SAT.

The reason you are not seeing this type of reaction from the states administering the SAT for accountability is that they are partly responsible for the problem.

Allow me to elaborate here https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/residents-co-ct-de-il-me-mi-nh-heads-department-education-alfaro?trk=mp-author-card

 

 

Exxon and ALEC Running Illegal Lobbying Scheme, Watchdog Groups Charge in IRS Complaint – EXPOSEDbyCMD

BREAKING ExxonMobil and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) are running an illegal scheme to promote the oil giant’s climate denial policies and legislative agenda in violation of U.S. tax law governing charitable organizations, the Center for Media Democracy (CMD) and Common Cause charged today.

In a new filing to the IRS, the watchdog organizations detail for the first time how #Exxon used #ALEC as a key asset in its explicit campaign to sow uncertainty about climate science, undermine international climate treaties and block legislation to reduce emissions. #ALECexposed #ExxonKnew#ClimateAction

[Continue Reading…]

Source: Exxon and ALEC Running Illegal Lobbying Scheme, Watchdog Groups Charge in IRS Complaint – EXPOSEDbyCMD

“Harbormasters” – A new corporate education reform industry term for unelected entities seeking to privatize our public schools. – Wait What?

“Harbormasters have a mission to buoy the number of high-quality seats in their cities.” – Bellwether Education Partners on behalf of Education Cities

Definitions:

  • “Harbormasters” are unelected entities that seek to put themselves in control of managing public education in a particular community, and (b) “High-Quality Seats” is a euphemism for more charter schools.

So translated into English, the phrase “Harbormasters have a mission to buoy the number of high-quality seats in their cities” actually means,

If we are to succeed in our goal of opening more charter schools and continuing the efforts to privatize public education we will need more un-elected entities willing to step in and usurp the democratic process that presently stands in our way.”

When one follows this path of edu-jargon they will quickly come across groups like Bellwether Education Partners, Education Cities and similar corporate-funded organizations that are working to remove the term public from public education.

Take for example, Education Cities, a relatively new entity in the privatization game.

Education Cities’ primary mission is to develop and expand the notion of “harbormasters” as part of its ongoing strategy to expand the number of charter schools in targeted cities.

Education Cities claims it is a “nonprofit network” of 32 city-based organizations in 25 cities.  As the evidence makes clear, it is really just another charter school front group funded by the same cabal of big education reform foundations.

The organization traces its roots back to 2012, when the an Indianapolis, Indiana “educational venture capital fund” called The Mind Trust spun off a related entity it called CEE-Trust or Cities for Education Entrepreneurship.

The organization’s stated goal was to bring Indianapolis-like corporate education reforms to other cities around the country.

Changing its name to Education Cities in 2014, the entity collected more than $5.5 million during its first two years as a 501(c) (3).  Not surprisingly, major contributions came from The Broad Foundation; the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation; the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; The Walton Family Foundation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, all leaders in the effort to privatize public schools in the United States.

Always keen on coining a phrase, the public relations mavens at The Mind Trust and Education Cities announced that their primary strategy was to install “harbormasters” as vehicles to promote and implement their privatization agenda.

And what, pray-tell are harbormasters and what role do they have when it comes to implementing the corporate education reform agenda?

Read the full blog post here: http://jonathanpelto.com/2016/10/03/harbormasters-new-corporate-education-reform-industry-term-unelected-entities-seeking-privatize-public-schools/

About

Jonathan Pelto has been actively involved in Connecticut public policy, advocacy and electoral politics for 40 years.

Presently, an investigative blogger and citizen journalist, Pelto uses blogging and social media as advocacy tools to educate, persuade and mobilize people with a focus on issues related to public education and the Corporate Education Reform Industry’s growing efforts to undermine and privatize public education in the United States.

Michigan advocates seek explicit right to education

Movement forming to amend the Michigan Constitution to include education as a fundamental right.

Lawyers fighting a lawsuit on behalf of Detroit schoolchildren hope to persuade the federal courts to recognize a constitutional right to literacy.

But some Michigan education advocates are ready to pursue a more direct route: Amend the state constitution to establish education as a fundamental right in Michigan.

“That is a conversation that many people want to have,” said David Arsen, a professor of education policy at Michigan State University. “Parents all across the state want to have that conversation. Even if it takes a while for the grassroots, that’s a conversation that’s well worth having.”

Arsen is one of the speakers who will address the topic Oct. 10 at an education forum in Grand Rapids.

Read more here: 

http://www.freep.com/story/news/education/2016/10/02/michigan-constitutional-amendment-education/91339100/ 

Bill Schuette issues major ruling on Detroit schools, doesn’t mention the thousands he’s accepted from pro-charter DeVos family ​ | Blogs | Detroit Metro Times

 Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette weighed in Wednesday on what has become an increasingly contentious issue: Can the state shut down poor-performing Detroit schools at the end of the current academic year?

His answer: Yes.

What he didn’t discuss in his legal opinion was the fact that since 2009 he has received close to $140,000 from pro-charter school proponents like the DeVos family.

In August, Chalkbeat Detroit reported that the state School Reform Office planned to close down hundreds of failing Michigan schools in June 2017 — including dozens of Detroit public schools — if they didn’t get their act together.

The news, specifically the threat of Detroit closures after years of documented neglect, resulted in a thunderous uproar.”Closing a failing school, particularly in Detroit, a city whose schools are famously, notably distressed, won’t have a millimeter of impact on the conditions that caused those schools to fail,”

Detroit Free Press columnist Nancy Kaffer wrote this summer, pointing out that the news was textbook free-market-education-reform-speak, but ultimately didn’t take into consideration bigger systemic issues, such as funding, a lack of school supplies, and poor infrastructure, that has been holding many of Detroit’s public schools back.

Read more here: Bill Schuette issues major ruling on Detroit schools, doesn’t mention the thousands he’s accepted from pro-charter DeVos family | Blogs | Detroit Metro Times

CURMUDGUCATION: Duncan Scolds Education Schools

Duncan Scolds Education Schools

Posted by Peter Greene: 04 Oct 2016 12:00 PM PDT

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? Retirement is awesome.

Take for instance his open letter today at Brookings, in which Duncan castigates the nation’s collegiate teacher preparation programs.

He opens with his trademark blame-disguised-as-praise:

Schools of education are providing one of the most important services in America today, training our future teachers who will prepare our children to succeed in work and in life. No other responsibility is more directly linked to our future.

Really? Economic policy, business growth, policies addressing poverty, maintenance of infrastructure, global diplomacy– nothing at all more directly influences the future of our nation than how well colleges prepare future teachers?  Okay then. Let’s address the Most Critical Issue Facing Our Nation with a look at the hard facts HERE: CURMUDGUCATION: Duncan Scolds Education Schools

CURMUDGUCATION: The Choices Charters Hate

 One of the evergreen arguments in favor of modern charters is that they will be laboratories of innovation. Freed from the constraints of the public school system, charters will whip up brand new educational approaches, pedagogical discoveries that somehow nobody has ever whipped up before.

Once they have freed the edu-genii, they will then unleash these cool new ideas on the whole education world, and all schools will work better because the charters were allowed to figure out brilliant new techniques that the public schools could not.

That’s how it’s sold. But that’s not how it works.

Find out how it DOES work here: CURMUDGUCATION: The Choices Charters Hate

They don’t want our pity, but they do welcome our solidarity: Physician tells stories about Palestinians living under siege in Gaza

Dr. Mads Gilbert, author of the books, Eyes in Gaza and Night in Gaza, in which he describes what it was like to work under the bombs with Palestinian colleagues during Israel’s 2008 – 2009 and 2014 invasions of the Gaza Strip, spoke to an audience of about 200 people last night at Calvin College.

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

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Dr. Mads Gilbert, author of the books, Eyes in Gaza and Night in Gaza, in which he describes what it was like to work under the bombs with Palestinian colleagues during Israel’s 2008 – 2009 and 2014 invasions of the Gaza Strip, spoke to an audience of about 200 people last night at Calvin College.

Dr. Gilbert provided an astute analysis of what was happening in Gaza, with the Israeli occupation and US complicity, but he did it through the powerful stories of Palestinian civilians the doctor has met while working in makeshift operating rooms throughout Gaza.

He showed pictures of many of the children wounded from Israeli bombs that have besieged Gaza over the last decade, but asked people not to record any of the images. “I did not ask the consent of the wounded to be able to distribute their images online, I only use them in…

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Michigan Supreme Court Denies Snyder’s Request for Advisory Opinion on Public Aid for Private Schools – Fix the mitten blog

The Michigan Supreme Court has issued an order denying Governor Rick Snyder’s request for an advisory opinion on the constitutionality of appropriating $2.5 million in state funds for parochial and private schools. But the Supreme Court’s order does not mean that the appropriation is constitutional or that the issue is legally insignificant. In fact, the Supreme Court’s order does not decide anything, and the issue will likely now be litigated.

Nick Krieger discusses the topic in his latest post on the blog: Michigan Supreme Court Denies Snyder’s Request for Advisory Opinion on Public Aid for Private Schools – Fix the mitten