Tag: educational reform

Schools aren’t “fast-food franchises,” charter schools aren’t public schools,and education isn’t a business

Schools aren’t “fast-food franchises,” charter schools aren’t public schools,and education isn’t a business

              Recently, our oldest son got his first job–or, more accurately, he got his first 2 jobs: one at a fast-food franchise popular in the Midwest (let’s call it “McBurgerQueen”, or McBQ—note: it’s not McDonalds, Burger King, or Dairy Queen), the other at a family-owned Korean-Chinese restaurant in our town (we’ll call this place […]

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Please save us from self-appointed “education experts”…

Please save us from self-appointed “education experts”…

Mike Petrilli is one of the self-appointed leaders of the corporate reform of education movement, and also has a day job as president of the Fordham Institute, a conservative think tank with a focus on education. His bio says that “he is one of the nation’s most trusted education analysts,” so I guess he knows what he’s talking about. In his […]

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The Politics of Teacher Walkouts Make Mike & Randi Uneasy Bedmates

The Politics of Teacher Walkouts Make Mike & Randi Uneasy Bedmates

A recent editorial in USA Today (“We can expect more from teachers when we pay them like pros: Bloomberg and Weingarten”) presents an object lesson in how the politics surrounding the recent wave of teacher walkouts is creating some very troubling alliances in the nexus between business and education. Under the guise of presenting a “unified front”, former NYC mayor Mike […]

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An “Achievement School District” Primer, Or Why Charterizing Your School District is a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Idea

An “Achievement School District” Primer, Or Why Charterizing Your School District is a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Idea

“Achievement School Districts” are a recent phenomenon in the corporate education reform movement. These “school districts” are designed to guarantee “rapid improvement in the state’s low performing schools”, although specific methods, techniques and strategies to accomplish this goal are rarely mentioned. ASDs have sprung up all across the nation, under various names and guises, from the “Education Achievement Authority” in […]

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Betsy DeVos says charter schools are the Uber or Lyft of “school choice”–and that’s not a good thing

Betsy DeVos says charter schools are the Uber or Lyft of “school choice”–and that’s not a good thing

Secretary of Education and Saturday Night Live fixture Betsy DeVos is fond of saying that picking a school should be as easy as choosing an Uber or a Lyft. She bases this belief on the economic theories that buttress much of the neo-liberal and conservative approach to education reform: As economist Milton Friedman had theorized decades earlier, Ohio legislators believed […]

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Betsy DeVos thinks schools are like food trucks: here’s why she’s wrong

Betsy DeVos thinks schools are like food trucks: here’s why she’s wrong

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos made headlines this week at Harvard University. I’m still confused as to why Harvard invited her to speak at an event allegedly focused on public education–she never attended a public school, never sent her own children to a public school, never studied education, and has never taught anyone anything–and the reaction to her talk suggests […]

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Zombie Education Reform Strategy #459

Zombie Education Reform Strategy #459

To save you from having to read this claptrap, I’m going to share the gist of a new “report” on teacher preparation programs from David Bergeron & Michael Dannenberg. Who the heck are these guys, you might ask? Well, our friend and Highly Effective Curmudgeon, Peter Greene, fills us in on their “credentials,” and it’s pretty much what we expected–they […]

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The media’s infatuation with “data”, and why it’s so wrong

The media’s infatuation with “data”, and why it’s so wrong

The Hartford Courant recently published a stunningly uninformed editorial on the Connecticut State Board of Education’s decision to eliminate the use of student test scores in teacher evaluations–a move widely praised by most of the education community. The Courant’s position was clear–and a blend of equal parts ignorance and arrogance: The state Board of Education recently agreed not to include […]

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Graphic credit: Gerd Leonhard

Are “Big Data” and “metrics” the new religion in education reform?

As anyone watching the corporate education reform movement can attest to, Big Data and metrics have become the coin of the realm to the reform community. Let any conversation between reformers and defenders of public education go on long enough and the reformer will eventually blurt out the magic words: “But…accountability!” This worldview seems informed by the belief that any […]

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Photo credit: http://www.myballard.com/2011/08/31/seattle-public-schools-closed-today/

Only in Betsy DeVos’ Michigan can schools be “reformed” by closing them

The news broke on January 20, 2017 that as many as 38 schools could be closed in Michigan, 24 of those in Detroit, due to “poor academic performance.” Parents in the city, and throughout the state, were understandably stunned, as this announcement represented an abrupt change in the state’s previous position on school closings: Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration has switched […]

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How Jeb Bush and his cronies profit off education and the student debt crisis

How Jeb Bush and his cronies profit off education and the student debt crisis

Jeb Bush has a Bush problem. He has a Mitt Romney problem. He has a Lehman Brothers problem. But his Jeb Bush problem may be his most telling problem of all. In The New Yorker, Alec MacGillis unravels Jeb’s adventures in education “reform,” which has increasingly become a euphemism for the right-wing’s conjoined agendas of siphoning taxpayer money into corporate […]

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