No Status Quo in Wisconsin! | BustED Pencils

 Since testifying against the Wisconsin DPI (Department of Public Instruction) teacher license rule changes, some have suggested that I am simply a defender of the status quo. That my insistence on “standards” means I wish to keep in place the current system. Nothing can be further from the truth. Here is a direct quote from… Read more »

Source: No Status Quo in Wisconsin! | BustED Pencils

Individual behavior, not collective liberation: Why DeVos Family foundation funding compliments AmplifyGR

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

During the AmplifyGR-hosted meeting on June 29, Doug DeVos stated that he and his wife have been, “active in many of the non-profit agencies that are here in this neighborhood.”

This statement prompted me to look at the 990 documents from all of the DeVos Family foundations to see how much money they have collectively contributed to non-profits that are based in the neighborhoods that AmplifyGR is operating or those that do work in those neighborhoods.

We found several non-profits that are currently operating in the area that AmplifyGR is targeting with their development plans. I then sent an e-mail to each of the organizations that are working in the designated area and have received DeVos Foundation money to ask them the following two questions.

First, does your organization have a position on the AmplifyGR development proposal for the Boston Square & Cottage Grove areas in the southeast…

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Bridge International Academies: A Dutch Perspective

Diane Ravitch's blog

Dutch journalist Maria Hengeveld reviewed the claims and business plans of Bridge International Academies and found much not to like. She is clearly irked that the Dutch Ministry of Affairs has invested in this plan.

Shannon May, a founder, says that BIA is all about “social justice.”

Hengeveld adds:

“And for profit. According to her husband, the “global education crisis” is worth about US$51 billion a year. In 2013, Kimmelman explained in a presentation how, for less than US$5 in tuition fees per pupil per month, Bridge could grow “into a billion-dollar company” and “radically change the world.” Earlier he and May promised that they could do this for US$4 per month per pupil.

“Big dreams and even bigger promises. However, my research and research done by others shows:

*that their quality claims have not been supported by any independent research;
*that the education provided turns out to be more…

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“Don’t It Always Seem to Go that You Don’t Know What You’ve Got Till It’s Gone?”

janresseger

“You don’t know what you’ve got till its gone.”  Joni Mitchell was prophetic when she sang those words back in 1970.

Back then, for example, if you drove across the Indiana Turnpike, you’d stop at the James Whitcomb Riley, Booth Tarkington, or Ernie Pyle rest stop. Plain, basic concrete buildings, but also racks of maps, clean restrooms, something to eat and some sense of the heritage of Indiana. All gone today: Indiana’s turnpike—under Governors Mitch Daniels and Mike Pence—has been turned over to an Australian investment consortium that pledged improvements at low cost. Now you can stop at gas station-style convenience stores with 47 kinds of potato chips and some beef jerky. Someone flips hamburgers at a tiny grill and there are five or six tables crowded together where you can sit if there’s room. Dirty, minimal restrooms. Although the old places had fallen into disrepair, today’s version…

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The Real Reason Your Child is Being Psychologically Profiled at School

Save Maine Schools

In an article from May in the Wall Street Journal, Dr. Aida Cerundolo warned parents that public schools may be psychologically assessing their children without consent.

“The mental-health information teachers are now obtaining, storing and tracking…is equally as sensitive as that which is collected in a pediatrician’s office,” Cerundolo says.

And she’s right.

Tests like the Devereux Student Strengths Assessment, which ask teachers to rate students on how often a child “carr[ies] himself with confidence” or  “cope[s] well with insults and mean comments” are being used with increasing frequency in public schools across the country, without parental consent or adequate privacy protections.

But where did this sudden interest in assessing children’s “social and emotional” skills come from?  Is it really nothing more than a “noble” endeavor, meant to identify students in need of intervention, as Cerundolo claims?

Or is there more to it?

As with most education fads that…

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A New Report Spells Out The Real Costs Of Gun Violence.

Mike The Gun Guy™

Our friends at The Violence Policy Center(VPC) have just issued a very important report on the ways in which gun violence goes beyond creating dead and injured victims, but also disrupts and diminishes the quality of life in neighborhoods where too many shootings occur. And in case you didn’t know it, when I say ‘too many’ I mean more than none. This subject has a lengthy pedigree, going all the way back to the 1970s when Phil Cook began looking at this issue for the Ford Foundation, a subject he has revisited over the years, including an informative book on the issue published by Oxford University Press.

dontlie              But what makes the VPC report both timely and important is the fact that it starts where most reports on the costs of gun violence leave off, namely, going beyond measuring the financial costs (medical intervention, lost wages, decreased property…

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Pay for Success – Also Known as Social Impact Bonds, Senator Orrin Hatch & the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

Seattle Education

two garbage trucks colliding

Back in the early 2000’s Sun Microsystems’ Scott McNealy described the pending merger between Hewlett-Packard and Compaq as “the sound of two garbage trucks colliding”.

Whenever I read through the 449 page abomination that is the 2016 re-write of the 1965 ESEA – later rebranded as the ESSA – I can’t help thinking of that phrase.

The law really is a never ending dumpster fire.

Thanks to boastful politicians, like Senator Orin Hatch, the public gets to learn in a round about way some of the awful things tucked into the ESSA.

For example:

From July 16th, 2015

Senate Passes Hatch “Pay for Success” Amendment

“With Pay for Success, state and local leaders will be empowered to fund initiatives that deliver real  results for their communities and schools. Rather than being limited by what federal bureaucrats at the Department of Education think best, funding should be more connected to local innovation and successful outcomes. I’m pleased the…

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