Mercedes Schneider: Stagnation in ACT Scores of New Orleans Charter Schools

Mercedes Schneider calculated the ACT scores for the charter schools of anew Orleans.

This is a statistic that State Superintendent John White doesn’t want you to know.

It blows away the myth of the New Orleans miracle.

The NOLA recovery Svhool District has been stuck with an average hovering in the 16s. Not at all impressive. Not at all “college and career ready.” …

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Diane Ravitch's blog

Mercedes Schneider calculated the ACT scores for the charter schools of anew Orleans.

This is a statistic that State Superintendent John White doesn’t want you to know.

It blows away the myth of the New Orleans miracle.

The NOLA recovery Svhool District has been stuck with an average hovering in the 16s. Not at all impressive. Not at all “college and career ready.”

She writes:

“Guaranteed admission to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL) requires an ACT composite of 23. For Louisiana State University (LSU), it’s a 22. For both the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) and Southeastern Louisiana University (SLU), an ACT composite of 21 is preferred, but either an ACT English score of 18 or an ACT math score of 19 is required.

“The average Xavier University undergraduate has an ACT composite ranging from 23 to 28, with Xavier advertising an ACT composite of 24 necessary…

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Headline Says Don’t Protect Worst Teachers

tultican

Another editorial in the San Diego Union attacks teachers and the California public education system. The author has a personal work history of harming California’s public schools by scheming to privatize them. The editorial was written by Rae Belisle. She is identified as a former member of California’s State Board of Education, but she is so much more than that.

Ms. Belise opened her attack,

“Competition for success in the 21st-century economy is increasingly tied to an educated workforce with strong science, technology, engineering and math skills.

“Parents, community and business leaders, and policy makers trying to keep and grow jobs in California should be shocked that in just a few short years California has won the race to the bottom.”

It is true that education is important to the future of any society, however, it is also important that education policy not be driven by a false narrative.

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The honest Legacy of Congressman Vern Ehlers

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

On Tuesday, former US Congressman Vern Ehlers passed away at the age of 83.

In the past few days there has been a number of news stories reflecting on the life of the former Congressman, with virtually every story communicating nothing but respect and admiration for Vern Ehlers.

One article on MLive just listed the comments from local politicians, both current and former, such as Senator Debbie Stabenow, Rep. Bill Huizenga, current Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss. 

A WOOD TV 8 story provides significant time to Ehler’s former press secretary Chris Barbee, but also included commentary from additional politicians like Rep. Justin Amash, Gov. Rick Snyder and Rep. Fred Upton. 

An earlier story on MLive provided some background on Ehlers’ political career from Kent County Commissioner to Congressman. In addition, some of the news coverage highlighted certain policies that the former Congressman had “championed,”…

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WOOD TV8 allows local leader of White Supremacist group to lie

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

Yesterday, WOOD TV8 ran a story headlined,Leader denies group is neo-Nazi: ‘Witch hunt’

Taking advantage of the national media attention from the White Nationalist/White Supremacist violence in Charlottesville, the channel 8 story used a Southern Poverty Law Center hate map to identify hate groups in West Michigan and chose to speak with the leader of a White Supremacist group.

However, the channel 8 piece, ultimately provided a platform for Mike Peterson, also known as Ragnar, to say that his group, the Gallows Tree Wotansvolk Alliance, is nothing more than a religious group. The WOOD TV 8 reporter can only respond by showing one picture of Mike Peterson to challenge his identity with White Supremacy. This kind of weak and lazy journalism is not what people need, especially in light of the White Supremacist violence in Charlottesville last weekend. One more indication that commercial media outlets are more interested…

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Sold to the Highest Bidder: Lack of Protections Puts the Privacy of Students and their Families at Risk

BOULDER, CO (August 15, 2017) – Digital technologies used in schools are increasingly being harnessed to amplify corporate marketing and profit-making and extend the reach of commercializing activities into every aspect of students’ school lives.

In addition to the long-standing goal of providing brand exposure, marketing through education technology now routinely engages students in activities that facilitate the collection of valuable personal data and that socialize students to accept relentless monitoring and surveillance as normal, according to a new report released by the National Education Policy Center.

In Asleep at the Switch: Schoolhouse Commercialism, Student Privacy, and the Failure of Policymaking, the NEPC’s 19th annual report on schoolhouse commercialism trends, University of Colorado Boulder researchers Faith Boninger, Alex Molnar and Kevin Murray examine how technological advances, the lure of “personalization,” and lax regulation foster the collection of personal data and have overwhelmed efforts to protect children’s privacy.

They find that for-profit entities are driving an escalation of reliance on education technology with the goal of transforming public education into an ever-larger profit center—by selling technology hardware, software, and services to schools; by turning student data into a marketable product; and by creating brand-loyal customers.Boninger points out that “policymaking to protect children’s privacy or to evaluate the quality of the educational technology they use currently ranges from inadequate to nonexistent.”

“Schools and districts are paying huge sums of money to private vendors and creating systems to transfer vast amounts of children’s personal information to education technology companies,” explains Molnar.

“Education applications, especially applications that ‘personalize’ student learning, are powered by proprietary algorithms, without anyone monitoring how student data are being collected or used.”Asleep at the Switch documents the inadequacy of industry self-regulation and argues that to protect children’s privacy and the quality of their education, legislators and policymakers need to craft clear policies backed by strong, enforceable sanctions.

Such policies should:

Prohibit schools from collecting student personal data unless rigorous, easily understood safeguards for the appropriate use, protection, and final disposition of those data are in place.

Hold schools, districts, and companies with access to student data accountable for violations of student privacy.

Require algorithms powering education software to be openly available for examination by educators and researchers.

Prohibit adoption of educational software applications that rely on algorithms unless a disinterested third party has examined the algorithms for bias and error, and unless research has shown that the algorithms produce intended results.

Require independent third-party assessments of the validity and utility of technologies, and the potential threats they pose to students’ well-being, to be conducted and addressed prior to adoption.

Additionally, the report authors encourage parents, teachers, and administrators to publicize the threats that unregulated educational technologies pose to children and the importance of allowing disinterested monitors access to the algorithms powering educational software.

Find Asleep at the Switch: Schoolhouse Commercialism, Student Privacy, and the Failure of Policymaking, by Faith Boninger, Alex Molnar, and Kevin Murray, on the web at:http://nepc.colorado.edu/publication/schoolhouse-commercialism-2017

Source: Sold to the Highest Bidder: Lack of Protections Puts the Privacy of Students and their Families at Risk | National Education Policy Center

Why are immigrants from some countries more successful than others? 

Some immigrant groups in the U.S. seem to be more successful than others. A new paper looks at how country of origin correlates with measures of personal success.

Source: Why are immigrants from some countries more successful than others? – Journalist’s Resource