A group of colleagues are organizing a rally to raise awareness and call for action in New York. Read more about Save Our Schools and get involved.
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. Thank you Robert Rendo.
If you work with schools in Philadelphia, check out Ken Derstine’s chronicle of how a core group of policymakers, businessmen, and others are reforming/deforming public schools.
Diane Ravitch focuses her attention on criticism surrounding the Common Core Standards. It’s worth remembering as well that while Common Core testing and privacy of student data are important issues, they also represent only the tip of the iceberg in terms of concerns regarding the current reform movement. She begins:
Across the nation, parents and educators are raising objections to the Common Core standards, and many states are reconsidering whether to abandon them as well as the federally-funded tests that accompany them. Arne Duncan, Jeb Bush, Bill Gates, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Business Roundtable vocally support them, yet the unease continues and pushback remains intense.
Why so much controversy?
There are several Meet Ups happening in Philadelphia during AERA. Here is our list of ones to check out!
- What: Rising to the Challenges of Quality and Equality: The Promise of a Public Pedagogy
- Where: Convention Center, Room 121B
- When: Thursday, April 3 @ 2:15 to 3:45
- Sponsored by: AERA (click here)
- What: Philadelphia Education Town Hall
- Where: Arch Street United Methodist Church, 55 N Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19107
- When: Thursday, April 3 @ 5:30 to 8:30
- Sponsored by: Reclaim AERA/Edu4 (click here)
- What: Our Schools Are Not For Sale: The Fight For Freedom In Philadelphia
- Where: Friends Center, 1501 Cherry Street (two blocks west of the Convention Center)
- When: Friday, April 4 @ 2:00 to 4:00
- Sponsored by: CESJ/Action United/Philadelphia Student Union/YUC/TAG
Santa Fe’s Common Core roll-out is surfacing confusion and frustration. The timeline is vague and, as we have heard in New York State as well, those responsible for it at the highest levels claim sanctuary in the word “transition.”
Diane Ravitch is calling attention again to InBloom, the cross-state entity that is creating a network of student learning data. She writes
Parents and school districts are beginning to understand that student information will no longer be private.
The Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Foundation created something called the Shared Learning Collsborative, now called inBloom. They have a contract to Wireless Generation, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, to create the software to collect massive amounts of data. InBloom will collect confidential data about students. It will be stored on a “cloud” managed by Amazon. There is no guarantee that the data cannot be hacked.
Two professors of education frame the challenges of the Common Core. As we’ve heard from many different voices, it isn’t the document itself that educators resist (though see Applebee’s critique for a short and compelling document analysis), but rather it’s the pace of implementation.
SUNY New Paltz teacher educator Julie Gorlewski provides a balanced perspective about the edTPA and related reforms sweeping the country. She begins:
One of the greatest challenges for teachers is preparing students to live in—ideally, to succeed in—a world that does not yet exist. In a democracy, teachers must prepare students to participate in the creation of that world. As teacher-educators, we seek to prepare our students to prepare their future students for this approaching reality—a world that they must imagine and construct, simultaneously.