May Posts

May 16, 2017

PUBLIC SCHOOL DEBATE

  1. Benjamin Barber’s tribute to the importance of public schools as a common not private good. http://www.stamfordadvocate.com/news/article/Wendy-Lecker-The-war-on-education-as-public-good-11124896.php
  2. In the same vein the Hechinger report’s opinion piece argues that we are not consumers but citizens when it comes to public education http://hechingerreport.org/opinion-not-consumers-citizens-comes-schools/?utm_source=Newsletter&utm_campaign=2ce81b1044-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_05_01&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_a4f3e0748b-2ce81b1044-296190865
  3. William Damon demonstrates how schools can instill a greater sense of purpose in students—so important for their futures and for our civic health. https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2017/05/02/how-schools-can-help-students-develop-a-greater-sense-of-purpose/?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=ExactTarget&utm_campaign=20170507Mindshift&mc_key=00Qi000001WzO2NEAV and https://coa.stanford.edu/?utm_medium=Email&utm_source=ExactTarget&utm_campaign=20170507Mindshift&mc_key=00Qi000001W
  4. Gary Rubenstein reviews Rick Hess’s (himself a reformer) book “Letters to a Young Reformer” on deficiencies in the policies and a actions by “test and punish” and “privatization” reformers. https://garyrubinstein.wordpress.com/2017/05/10/my-review-of-letters-to-a-young-education-reformer/

CHARTER SCHOOLS AND VOUCHER TRIBULATIONS

  1. Sue Legg reports on wide-spread corruption and conflict in Florida’s essentially unregulated charter schools. https://dianeravitch.net/2017/05/10/sue-m-legg-will-erik-fresen-go-to-jail-is-charter-corruption-in-florida-out-of-control/
  2. Lax transparency and accountability of charter schools is causing Enron type fraud. http://www.lmtonline.com/news/article/Is-charter-school-fraud-the-next-Enron-11105078.php
  3. An Incomplete (but totally terrifying) Ohio Charter School Scandal Chronology http://progressohio.org/an-incomplete-yet-totally-terrifying-ohio-charter-school-scandal-chronology/
  4. Conservative rural legislators block vouchers in Texas as harming rural schools. https://dianeravitch.net/2017/05/09/why-republicans-blocked-vouchers-in-texas/ Also seehttp://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2017/04/are-charters-rural-solution.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FORjvzd+%28CURMUDGUCATION%29 for a critique of charters in rural areas.
  5. Three big problems of large charter expansions—financial drain to remaining public schools, costs to taxpayers from tax credits, and lack of transparency and accountability has resulted in fraud and self-dealing. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2017/05/03/three-big-problems-with-school-choice-that-supporters-dont-like-to-talk-about/?utm_term=.5b6f920241fa
  6. An article by Russ on Reading No Betsy, School Choice is Not a Good Thing http://linkis.com/blogspot.com/Zjodl
  7. Vouchers do poorly in DC. https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2017/04/do-vouchers-actually-work/524676/
  8. A warning on the coming privatization assault on public institutions including schools. http://prospect.org/article/incoming-privatization-assault
  9. Eight problems with vouchers by Justin Vasquez Heilig http://progressive.org/public-school-shakedown/eight-questions-about-school-vouchers/
  10. Bill Quigley’s article on Everything Wrong with Charter Schools on Display in New Orleans https://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/04/25/everything-wrong-charter-schools-display-new-orleans
  11. California closes down a charter school for the founder’s egregious self-dealing and fraud. https://dianeravitch.net/2017/05/14/california-charter-school-will-close-because-of-founders-audacious-misuse-of-school-funds/
  12. A new report was just issued by The Center for Popular Democracy http://populardemocracy.org/sites/default/files/Charter-School-Fraud_Report_2017_web%20(1).pdf CHARTER SCHOOL VULNERABILITIES  TO WASTE, FRAUD, AND ABUSE: Federal Charter School Spending, Insufficient Authorizer Oversight, and Poor State & Local Oversight Leads to Growing Fraud Problems in Charter Schools.

SOME GOOD NEWS

California’s graduation rate continues to rise. It was 74.7% (the percentage of ninth graders who graduate on time) in 2010 to 83.2% in 2016  which was .9% growth last year. In what officials described as another sign of progress< the latest dropout rate was 9.8 percent, compared with 10.7 percent in 2015 and 16.6 percent in 2010. http://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2016/10/17/498246451/the-high-school-graduation-reaches-a-record-high-again; and https://edsource.org/2017/californias-high-school-graduation-rate-improves-for-7th-straight-year-but-ethnic-gaps-remain/580041

The percentage of students who say they were afraid of attack or harm at school decreased from 12 percent in 1995 to 3 percent in 2015. Researchers documented an 82 percent decline in victimizations There were 33 victimizations per 1,000 students in 2015, the most recent year of data available, compared to 181 in 1992. https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2017/2017064.pdf  

MORE EVIDENCE THAT TEST-DRIVEN TEACHER EVALUATION IS A BUST

  1. Courts in Nevada and Houston hold test-driven teacher evaluation is unfair and unscientific. http://vamboozled.com/also-last-thursday-in-nevada-the-top-ten-research-based-reasons-why-large-scale-standardized-tests-should-not-be-used-to-evaluate-teachers/; http://curmudgucation.blogspot.com/2017/05/houston-court-throws-out-vam.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FORjvzd+%28CURMUDGUCATION%29

SCHOOLS SPEND TOO LITTLE TIME ON SCIENCE IN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS

  1. Schools spend too little time on science in elementary schools. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/2017/05/4th_graders_getting_thin_diet_science_instruction.html?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=curriculummatters  California is among the lowest.http://changetheequation.org/blog/new-data-will-we-make-time-science-and-engineering-our-elementary-schools

TEACHER PAY DECLINES

  1. Teacher pay in Miami measured in constant dollars has fallen significantly in the last decade. In 2007, a 15 year veteran would be making almost $47,000. In inflation adjusted dollars in 2017, that amount would be almost $56,000. Most 15 year teachers currently working in Miami Dade currently don’t break $45,000. And apparently, that’s exactly what Miami Dade County thinks 15 years teaching experience is worth if you look at the bottom portion of the 2017 salary teachers who transfer in from another state or district, $45,000. Back in 2007, if a 22 year veteran transferred into the district they would have been entitled to $64,000. Now they will get paid $46,000.”“In 2007, a 15 year veteran would have made $10,000 more than a first year teacher. Most 15 year veterans in Miami Dade currently make about $4,000 more than a first year teacher.” https://kafkateach.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/miami-dade-teacher-salaries-then-and-now/

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