Selling Education Technology Via the Federal Education Technology Plan

tultican

In January the Office of Education Technology, a unit of the U.S. Department of Education, released its 2017 National Education Technology Plan Update (NETP). The update is not a reasoned meditation on the use of education technology informed by our nations vast academic research infrastructure. It is a polemic hyping the use of technology in America’s classrooms. Director Joseph South, Office of Educational Technology US Department of Education, concludes his introductory remarks:

“…, it is now more apparent than ever that the courageous efforts of educators to embrace the role of thoughtful, reflective innovators who work collaboratively with each other and alongside their students to explore new learning models, new digital learning environments, and new approaches to working, learning, and sharing is essential if we want technology to be an effective tool to transform learning.” (page 2)

The question is, do we want digital learning environments? Are they conducive…

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Grand Rapids, ArtPrize and Whiteness

Grand Rapids, ArtPrize and Whiteness
by Jeff Smith (GRIID)
Recently, I was driving back into Michigan on highway 94 and saw a billboard just after re-entering the state that read, Cool City – Hot Art. The billboard was created by Experience GR and also included the words food, beer and music.

This billboard, in many ways, is reflective of the economic, political and cultural climate that exists in Grand Rapids. If we were to more honestly depict in words what the reality is for Grand Rapids, this is what the billboard would actually look like. https://griid.org/2017/09/28/grand-rapids-artprize-and-whiteness/#like-26240

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

Recently, I was driving back into Michigan on highway 94 and saw a billboard just after re-entering the state that read, Cool City – Hot Art. The billboard was created by Experience GR and also included the words food, beer and music.

This billboard, in many ways, is reflective of the economic, political and cultural climate that exists in Grand Rapids. If we were to more honestly depict in words what the reality is for Grand Rapids, this is what the billboard would actually look like.

Grand Rapids is such an overtly White City. The whiteness permeates everything about the city, from the hyper-religious reality to the heavy handed entrepreneur/free market/philanthropy crap that is constantly shoved down our throats. This is also the case with the litany of non-profits that exist, with their emphasis on practicing white savior politics. Then there is the cultural climate in Grand Rapids, where every…

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A woman interviewed 100 convicted rapists in India. This is what she learned.

A woman interviewed 100 convicted rapists in India. This is what she learned.
by thecatalystsforchange
“When I went to research, I was convinced these men are monsters. But when you talk to them, you realize these are not extraordinary men, they are really ordinary. What they’ve done is because of upbringing and thought process.”
“In my experience a lot of these men don’t realize that what they’ve done is rape. They don’t understand what consent is.”
Read more of this post…

The Catalysts for Change

“When I went to research, I was convinced these men are monsters. But when you talk to them, you realize these are not extraordinary men, they are really ordinary. What they’ve done is because of upbringing and thought process…In my experience a lot of these men don’t realize that what they’ve done is rape. They don’t understand what consent is.”

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MLive, census data and the politics of class

“… it is worth noting that the only person cited in the MLive articles on income and the most recent census data, is an economist for the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. The economist had this to say, “It’s been a hard slog, but the good news is that things are continuing to look better,” This statement doesn’t really tell us anything and we should also just ask ourselves the question, “things are continuing to look better for whom?””

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

Back on September 14, MLive ran a story entitled, “Michigan’s median income is up and poverty is down, new census data shows.” 

The headline is based on a comparison between the 2014-2015 data and the 2015-2016 data, which you can search by county, with the help of the cloud database embedded in the article.

However, the MLive headline is problematic on many levels. First, while poverty is only slightly down from the previous, it is still affecting 15% of the total Michigan population and in communities of color, those numbers are between 20 – 30% for Black, Latino and Native communities.

Second, the media household income is not a great way to make determinations about economics. For instance, there are a growing number of very wealthy people living in Kent County. The number of millionaires in Kent County increased from 407 in 2010, to 600 in 2014

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$700 Billion US War Budget for 2018 gets Bipartisan support: Senators Stabenow and Peters get guarantees for Michigan weapons contractors

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

Language used by those in power is always instructive. The US Department of Defense used to be called the US Department of War, which is a more honest description, since there is little in the war budget for defense.

The US has military bases in over 150 countries, totally some 900 bases, with nuclear weapons in several of these countries. The US has been engaged in warfare, in some form or another – overt war, covert war, proxy war, drone war, the drug war, etc – ever since the country was founded. The US also spends more on war and militarism than the next top ten country military budgets, combined.

The budget for the US Department of War is no different this coming year, as Congress just passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018. The House of Representatives passed the near $700 Billion budget request by a…

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What Not to Say to Someone With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

The Catalysts for Change

By Kirstin Fawcett, Contributor|U.S. News|May 21, 2015

www.usnewsYou should never tell someone with OCD that they “just need to learn to live with it.” (Getty Images) 

“Maybe you have a roommate who constantly worries that she left her hair straightener turned on – even if she remembers unplugging it earlier that morning. Perhaps your spouse is so fixated on keeping a section of the house clean – say, a countertop or swath of floor – that he or she ignores an overflowing sink or a full trash can. You might have a friend who likes to count things – mailboxes, cracks in the sidewalk, lampposts. Or maybe your father confided in you that he experiences intrusive and disturbing thoughts he can’t cast aside no matter how hard he tries.

There’s a good chance these people have obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD – a brain-behavior disorder that affects approximately…

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How They Silence Us: An ABC Primer – UPDATED!

Save Maine Schools

**Curiously, if you shared this blog on Facebook last night, the link no longer works. Instead you get this message:

oops.png

(And yes I know I need to plug my phone in.)

Just a coincidence?  Or is this E for Erasing or maybe G for Gaslighting (i.e. messing with my head…)?  At any rate, I’ve updated the post with a new letter, and hope that if you were so inclined to share last night, that you will share again today!  

….

As the latest reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act begins to take effect nationwide, the proverbial you-know-what is beginning to hit the fan.

Parents and teachers are discovering that all the talk about “returning decision making to states” was a bunch of hooey,  and that even though their state may have ditched Common Core, or replaced PARCC or SBAC with another brand-name test, profit-driven education reforms are…

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State Voucher Plans Grow Despite DeVos’s Failure to Enact a Federal Program

janresseger

Earlier this week, Alyson Klein, Education Week‘s federal education reporter, described her recent interview with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos: “U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who has spent decades advocating for private school vouchers and charter schools, came to Washington with one item at the top of her agenda: to push for a new federal school choice initiative. Her vision is running into trouble on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers in both chambers have failed to fund either of the school choice proposals in the president’s budget. And it’s looking less and less likely that the White House will push to include a federal tax credit scholarship program in a sweeping tax overhaul package that’s slated to be unveiled soon. So where does that leave the secretary? She’s not giving up, she said in a wide-ranging interview with Education Week….”

Klein reports that DeVos is merely “waiting for…

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After 22-Year-Long State Takeover, Newark Regains Control of Its Schools

Eradicate paternalism…

janresseger

State takeovers—always intrusive—often arrogant, experimental, and ideological—don’t work.  But state officials persist in believing they know better than residents and school leaders in poor, black and brown communities, and the idea that takeover can compensate for states’ own underfunding of their poorest school districts wins again and again. The Flint lead poisoning resulted from Michigan’s imposition of emergency state fiscal managers to shape up local municipal and school district finances without enough attention to government’s responsibility for quality services. Louisiana and Michigan imposed so-called “recovery school districts” in New Orleans and Detroit. Michigan unsuccessfully turned over Highland Park and Muskegon Heights school districts to for-profit charter managers. And in Pennsylvania, the School District of Philadelphia has been run since 2001 by a state-appointed School Reform Commission.

In New Jersey, until last week, the state has been running the schools in Newark for 22 years, despite the presence of a toothless…

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Supporters of Last Year’s Massachusetts Charter School Ballot Issue Caught Laundering Dark Money

janresseger

For quite a while it has been clear that big money dominates our politics and too frequently overrides the will of citizens. In public education policy, the priorities of the One Percent have driven the laws and policy that shape the public schools serving 50 million children—the schools serving the 99 Percent.

Last year, however, in a heartening development, the voters of one state rejected a big-money effort to expand charter schools. In November 2016, in Massachusetts, voters rejected Question 2, a ballot issue that would have raised the cap on the number of charter schools that could be opened in the state. But new evidence now proves conclusively that hidden, big-moneyed interests certainly tried to sway Massachusetts voters.

We learned last week that Families for Excellent Schools-Advocacy, a group that raised 70 percent of the dollars contributed to the ballot committee behind Question 2, was not really a grassroots…

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