Richard Rothstein Tells Cleveland Audience: Public Policy Created Segregation and White Flight

…segregated not by accident but by explicit, purposeful racial policies…


In a 2004 book, Class and Schools, Richard Rothstein, of the Economic Policy Institute, examined social and economic factors in the lives of children and in the community that affect the academic performance of children in school.  Rothstein has been examining economic factors that affect student achievement for years, and his observations have recently been substantiated by the large research studies of sociologist Sean Reardon at Stanford University.  Reardon documents that the proportion of families in major metropolitan areas living in either very poor or very affluent neighborhoods increased from 15 percent in 1970 to 33 percent by 2009, and the proportion of families living in middle income neighborhoods declined from 65 percent in 1970 to 42 percent in 2009.  Reardon also demonstrates that along with growing residential inequality is a simultaneous jump in an income-inequality school achievement gap among children and adolescents.  The achievement gap between students with…

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A Musical Performance: Collaborative Learning, Authentic Assessment, Opportunity to Learn

A Musical Performance: Collaborative Learning, Authentic Assessment, Opportunity to Learn


Earlier this week my husband and I attended a concert that happens in our school district every four years.  It is sponsored by a small nonprofit organization that promotes equity and opportunity to learn across our school district’s elementary and middle schools and that rents Severance Hall, the gorgeous, art deco home of the Cleveland Orchestra, for these quadrennial concerts to showcase our district’s school music program.  This year the concert happened, ironically, during the first-ever week of Ohio’s PARCC (Common Core) standardized test. But the test our students took on Tuesday night at Severance Hall was different.

Musical performance is the definition of authentic learning and assessment, and the recent concert was a test that our students definitely passed (despite that their performance will not affect our schools’ ratings based on state assessments and the PARCC). To use the lingo of the day, musical performance also perfectly exemplifies collaborative…

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Some Wisconsin School Districts Prepared to Release Personal Student Info to Voucher Industry

Fully Fund Schools Equitably and Fairly

Educate All Students, Support Public Education

Oshkosh schools set deadline to OK student info release
Nathaniel Shuda, Oshkosh Northwestern Media February 17, 2015
Story Highlights
• School Choice Wisconsin is requesting students’ personal information known as directory data.
• Oshkosh school board policy defines the data as name, grade level and school attended.
• Addresses and telephone numbers of elementary students also are included in the definition.
• Parents have until the end of Monday to decide whether to allow the district to release the data.

Oshkosh Area School District parents have until Monday to decide whether they want their children’s personal information released to a statewide school voucher group.

District leaders notified parents Monday about an open records request from School Choice Wisconsin, a Milwaukee-based nonprofit that advocates for school choice programs. Oshkosh is one of about 30 districts statewide to receive such a request.

The group is seeking a portion of the district’s school…

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House Ed Approves Student Success Act to Replace NCLB

Still waiting for one or the other to dump privatization and denounce the standardized test score as The Evidence of educational value. #EdBlogNet

deutsch29: Mercedes Schneider's Blog

In July 2013, the House passed Representative John Kline’s (R-MN) Student Success Act, known as a “No Child Left Behind rollback.” No House Democrat supported the legislation, however, and it died in the Senate.

Almost a year and a half later, on February 11, 2015, Kline’s Student Success Act passed the House Education Committee and is once again headed for the House floor for a vote.

Details on Student Success Act amendments and motions can be found here.

Three proposed amendments in particular caught my attention. The first is Number 20: “college and career ready standards for all students.”

Common Core.

It was defeated, 16 yeas to 21 nays.

So, no Common Core written into the Student Success Act.

Another amendment, Number 17, would have provided federal funding for assessments aligned to the content standards proposed in Number 20.  This amendment was offered and…

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POLITICO’s Stephanie Simon Investigates Pearson—Essential Reading

#PublicizingPearsonPecadillos #EdBlogNet #idraed


No Profit Left Behind, Stephanie Simon’s blockbuster POLITICO investigation of the publishing giant, Pearson, is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand how things work in American education these days.  Simon warns, “Pearson’s dominance does not always serve U.S. students or taxpayers well.”

This is a major investigation: “POLITICO examined hundreds of pages of contracts, business plans and email exchanges, as well as tax filings, lobbying reports and marketing materials, in the first comprehensive look at Pearson’s business practices in the United States.  The investigation found that public officials often commit to buying from Pearson because it’s familiar, even when there’s little proof its products and services are effective.”

From North Carolina’s bid-free purchase of a student data system that failed so catastrophically that North Carolina “had to pay Pearson millions extra to fix it,” to the Los Angeles iPad disaster that brought down school superintendent John…

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The Unholy Alliance: Charters, the Media, and “Research”

#CHarterChicanery again. Fie on thee Eva M. #EdBlogNet @idraedu

Diane Ravitch's blog

Horace Meister, a regular contributor, has discovered a shocking instance of contradictory research, posted a year apart by the same “independent” governmental agency. The first report, published a year ago, criticized New York City’s charter schools for enrolling small proportions of high-need students; the second report, published a month ago, claimed that the city’s charter schools had a lower attrition rate of high-needs students than public schools. Meister read the two reports carefully and with growing disgust. He concluded that the Independent Budget Office had massaged the data to reach a conclusion favoring the powerful charter lobby. Eva Moskowitz read the second report and wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal called “The Myth of Charter School ‘Cherry Picking.’” Horace Meister says it is not myth: it is reality.

Meister writes:

In January 2014 the Independent Budget Office in New York City released a report on student…

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Must Reading – HML’s School Performance: The Iceberg Effect

Check this out: important implications for school performance assessment.

Education Under Attack


The Horace Mann League (HML) and the National Superintendents Roundtable have published a fascinating report called School Performance: The Iceberg Effect.  I would recommend reading the full report but an Executive Summary is also available – both can be found here.

They wrote the study because of their concerns about the use of international large-scale education assessments (ILSA) such as PISA to compare countries.  As educators, we cringe when newspapers and critics boil down the success of a child, let alone a country, on the results of a test.  They cite several research studies which indicate that up to 70% of tested achievement can be accounted for by out-of-school factors.  Hence The Iceberg Effect – a tendency focus on the part of the iceberg we can see when the part we can’t see is so much more important.

In their report, the part of the iceberg we can see are Student…

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Teachers: A Call to Conscience

#EdBlogNet @idraedu

Teachers' Letters of Professional Conscience

“My conscience leaves me no other choice.”

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On April 4th, 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his “Beyond Vietnam” speech, declaring “My conscience leaves me no other choice.”  Dr. King went on and “insisted that it was morally imperative for the U.S. to take radical steps to halt the war through nonviolent means (King, ‘‘Beyond Vietnam,’’ 139).  In a Q & A following his speech, Dr. King said:

As I said earlier in the speech, I think the time has come for those of us feel that this war is immoral and unjust to advise young men of the alternative to the draft, which is to serve as conscientious objector. I think this will do a great deal to arouse the conscience of the nation on this whole situation, and certainly if the war is continually escalated I think this will…

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