Arthur Camins: Schools Must Teach the Duty to Vote, Which Matters More Than Test Scores

Amen brother!

Diane Ravitch's blog

In close elections, every vote counts. Young people fought to lower the voting age from 21 to 18, but the youngest voters have low voting rates.

Arthur Camins writes that schools must encourage a sense of civic responsility in their students, this, GE says, is more important than test scores. Perhaps we should judge schools by the voting rates of their graduates in the four years after they leave school, not their scores.

He begins:

Predictably, the releases of the recent ACT and SAT scores prompted the usual alarms and cautions. Maybe these results are cause for concern. However, something else about K-12 education is more alarming: Young people who graduate and do not vote.

At this time and in this moment, the most important outcome of PK-12 education is citizens who vote. We need an education system intentionally designed to engage students to understand their values, exercise sound…

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California: Tuck Refuses to Withdraw or Apologize for Vicious Campaign Ad Smearing Thurmond

Diane Ravitch's blog

Will big money buy the position of State Superintendent of Public Instruction in California? Will false ads carry Marshall Tuck to victory?

The ACLU OF Northern California condemned the Marshall Tuck campaign for mailers falsely asserting that it had “sued Tony Thurmond.” It had not, and the ACLU demanded that the campaign withdraw the ad and offer an apology to Thurmond. Tuck refused.

Tuck is running a campaign based on lies. His character has been revealed. Will the public catch on in time to stop him? Or will the public believe Tuck’s scurrilous attack ads? It is possible. Tuck has an astonishing amount of money to spend. But should California’s schools be overseen by a person of such low ethics and character.

A thought for Marshall Tuck (written by sportswriter Grantland Rice):

“For when the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name,
He writes—not that you won or…

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Forbes: “How America Is Breaking Public Education”: By Forgetting the Cardinal Rule of Success

Diane Ravitch's blog

Ethan Siegel, a senior contributor to Forbes, understood what was happening to public education well before the wave of teacher strikes in the spring of 2018. America was literally destroying public education with ill-advised policies and was not reacting to the failure of these policies with common sense. (Please ignore the use of the word “industries” in his article, as he is addressing it to business people.)

The ultimate dream of public education is incredibly simple. Students, ideally, would go to a classroom, receive top-notch instruction from a passionate, well-informed teacher, would work hard in their class, and would come away with a new set of skills, talents, interests, and capabilities. Over the past few decades in the United States, a number of education reforms have been enacted, designed to measure and improve student learning outcomes, holding teachers accountable for their students’ performances. Despite these well-intentioned programs, including No Child…

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Education Week: Bias or Bad Reporting?

I call them moochers, thieves, and grifters.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Education Week posted an article by Madeline Will reporting that the National Education Association had lost 17,000 members since the Janus decision. The NEA has more than 3 million members. It had already reported that it immediately lost 88,000 members who were paying “agency fees,” paying dues reluctantly while collecting benefits negotiated by the union. The NEA has projected a possible loss of up to 300,000 members and planning to cut its budget.

Where does the report come from about the recent loss of 17,000 members? The 74, an anti-union, pro-privatization website funded by billionaires and founded by anti-union Campbell Brown. What was the source of The 74 report? Mike Antonucci, a writer who specializes in spying on unions and sending out any bad news he can find. Antonucci is probably the most virulently anti-union reporter in the nation. He calls his website the “education intelligence agency.” He won an…

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The Progressive: Will the “Save Our Schools” Movement Determine the Election Results?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Ruth Conniff, editor of “The Progressive,” suggests that the Save Our Schools Movement could be the determining factor in the midterm elections.

She writes:

The “education spring” protests, in West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado and North Carolina, won increases in teacher pay and education budgets, launched hundreds of teachers into campaigns for political office, and showed massive support for public schools this year. In Wisconsin and other states, education is a key issue in the 2018 governor’s race. Public opinion has turned against budget cuts, school vouchers, and the whole “test and punish” regime.

“The corporate education reform movement is dying,” Diane Ravitch, the Network’s founder declared. “We are the resistance, and we are winning!”

As the Save Our Schools movement swept the nation this year, blaming “bad teachers” for struggling schools also appears to have gone out of style.

A Time Magazine cover story on teachers who are underpaid…

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What You Need to Know About FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt)

Diane Ravitch's blog

Earlier today, I posted about FUD, but I didn’t link to the article I wrote in Huffington Post in 2014.

The article was called “Understanding the Propaganda Campaign Against Public Education.”

Here it is.

Here is the Wikipedia history of FUD.

If you understand the purposeful uses of FUD, you can see the propaganda techniques employed by “reformers” to undermine public education.

The FUD campaign says “our public schools are failing,” “our public schools are obsolete,” “our public schools haven’t changed in a century,” but it is all disinformation.

It is FUD.

Our public schools are NOT failing. Our public schools are NOT obsolete. Our public schools have changed in many ways in the past century

The FUD purveyors will not tell you that charter schools do not get better test scores than public schools and usually get worse scores. They won’t tell you that more than 90% of charter…

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Robert Pianta Discusses His Study Showing that Family Income Matters More than Public Vs. Private School

and one more for the “Duh!” file.

Diane Ravitch's blog

This is a fascinating discussion with Robert Pianta, dean of the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia, who recently conducted a study showing what social scientists have said for at least half a century: Family income makes a greater difference than whether a school is public or private.

His study implies the absurdity of ranking schools by test scores, since what you are actually doing is rewarding schools where the socioeconomic status of families is high and punishing those that educate poor kids by labeling them as “failing.”

Here is an abstract of the study, which is behind a paywall:

By tracking longitudinally a sample of American children (n = 1,097), this study examined the extent to which enrollment in private schools between kindergarten and ninth grade was related to students’ academic, social, psychological, and attainment outcomes at age 15. Results from this investigation revealed that…

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Ohio: English Teachers Protest Computer-Graded Tests

Beautiful letter.

Diane Ravitch's blog

This is a beautiful statement. Computer-graded essays represent the ultimate dumbing down of education. Professor Les Perelman of MIT has has written many studies about the stupidity of machines. They are indifferent to factual accuracy. They don’t understand tone or irony or wit. They can be fooled by pretentious gibberish.

Keep fighting!

Open Letter to Ohio Department of Education from English teachers. Concerning: Computer-graded exams.
by inthevalleyofthedoanSeptember 8, 2018

TO: Paolo DeMaria

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Ohio Department of Education

CC: Office of Curriculum and Assessment:

FROM: English teachers of Shaker Heights High School

September 7, 2018

Dear Superintendent DeMaria and the Office of Curriculum and Assessment,

We are English teachers at Shaker Heights High School, and we would like to voice our profound dismay over the direction that the Ohio Department of Education has taken with the End of Course…

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Wesley Null on the Power of Teachers

Diane Ravitch's blog

Wesley Null, teacher educator and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, reflects on that feeling you get right before school starts, a feeling of anticipation and a new beginning. He takes this opportunity to remark on the importance of teachers in the lives of children, something to think about as politicians complain and comment about a profession that they don’t appreciate or understand.

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Wisconsin: This is Not a Joke: Scott Walker is Touting His Record as “the Education Governor”

I wonder what data/research he has that would make him think this strategy will work?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Scott Walker will face off against Democrat Tony Evers in November’s gubernatorial election.

Evers is the state superintendent of education.

Walker is running on his “education record,” which includes busting the teachers’ union, expanding vouchers and charters, defunding education, both K-12 and higher education. At one point, he even tried to rewrite the mission statement of the University of Wisconsin, changing its emphasis on “the search for truth” and “improve the human condition” to one focused on career training (“meet the state’s workforce needs.”)

Politico reports that the Koch brothers are investing in another term for their puppet:

SEVEN-FIGURE AD BUY TOUTS WALKER’S EDUCATION RECORD: Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin is launching a $1.8 million television and digital ad campaign highlighting Gov. Scott Walker’s education record. Specifically, the conservative group details past praise of Walker’s education record from his Democratic opponent in the governor’s race, Wisconsin state Superintendent Tony Evers. Watch the…

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