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October 23, 2013

John Thompson: Michelle Rhee's DC IMPACT Value Added System Drives Teachers Out

It stands to reason that effective teachers who are "false positives," meaning that they were inaccurately categorized, will behave like their colleagues who are not effective. Both will leave the D.C. schools.

September 05, 2013

John Thompson: First Class; Education at DC's Dunbar High School

First Class also tells the tragic story of the elite institution becoming collateral damage due to the ham-handed way that America's schools were desegregated

August 18, 2013

Prisons, Post Offices and Public Schools: Some Things Should Not Be For Profit

When our schools are run for profit, there are disastrous consequences for both students and teachers. Teachers are "managed" through the "outcomes" their students produce

August 02, 2013

Tony Bennett's Day of Reckoning Has Come: Is Corporate Reform Far Behind?

When will the weight of deception bring the corporate reform project crashing down? For some, the day of reckoning has come already.

April 30, 2013

Teacher Highlights Washington Post Conflict of Interest in Education Arena

The Post editors waste our time and energy in their editorials, presenting their own motivation in "education reform" as entirely disinterested. They attack opponents of their for-profit business expansion as defenders of the "status quo", who are opposed to "innovations" to "transform" American education. The reality is that the education policies promoted by the Post drain desperately needed resources, and are destructive of the educational mission itself. Research shows that virtual charter schools are educational disasters. Parents, however, are unaware that the Washington Post Corporation is selling its own tax-funded online charter schools while it closes their neighborhood schools.

April 29, 2013

Five Questions for Arne Duncan

You began speaking out about the need for greater test security almost two years ago. In recent months we have seen two very different scenarios play out. In Atlanta, dozens are behind bars for conspiracy to cheat. In Washington, DC, there is ample evidence of wrongdoing, but no thorough investigation has been done. Why has your office not demanded a real investigation? Has Michelle Rhee also received special consideration as a result of her political connections?

April 19, 2013

Who Created Excuses for Michelle Rhee?

Teacher unions have not been the dynamic organizations they could or should have been. But to make them responsible for the reactionary tidal wave of phony reform upon which Michelle Rhee has surfed like one of the Beach Boys is absurd. It is like blaming climate scientists for the backlash against global warming. There are significant motivations powering corporate education reform, and its sponsors have poured billions into their project. They own this, and they own Michelle Rhee. They bought her, and now Merrow has helped to break her. Rhee and her billionaire sponsors, and the media who promoted her, they are the ones responsible for her rise to power way beyond that which she could have achieved without such support.

April 16, 2013

John Thompson: Did Duncan Load the Bullets into Michelle Rhee's Smoking Gun?

Rhee has not been alone, however, in foisting high-stakes testing on the entire nation. She has done so with the financing of billionaires and Duncan's D.O.Ed. So all three groups of accountability hawks should be held accountable. Rhee and her team in D.C. should all be subpoenaed. Corporate funders should demand an accounting of Rhee's StudentsFirst. Above all, they should reveal the what factual basis, if any, the organization has for its teacher-bashing soundbites.

April 14, 2013

Common Core Non-Fiction Reading Task #1: The DC Erasure Study Memo

As all educators know, the reading of non-fiction is supposed to be significantly increased as a result of the new Common Core (wanted to be national) Standards. It seems to me that the recently uncovered "Erasure Study" memo, written by investigator Sandy Sanford in 2009 makes a fine primary source document to be used as the basis for student inquiry. This memo has been hidden since it was first written. Its existence sheds light on the behavior of some of the nation's most well-known education reformers, including Michelle Rhee.

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