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July 26, 2013

Paul Horton: Troubles Ahead for Gatopia?

there is a new domestic cold war that pits public and private education against each other and seeks to turn human beings into computers

July 12, 2013

Paul Horton's Open Letter to President Obama: Listen to Committed Teachers

Many thousands of us have been fighting this battle for thirty and forty years and we remain relatively poor, isolated from the centers of power where big bucks are easy to acquire.

July 05, 2013

Can Our Unions Praise Common Core Standards and Defeat High Stakes Tests?

If we embrace the Common Core, and position ourselves as expert implementers, we cannot help but legitimize these standards as a solid set of benchmarks for student performance.

June 29, 2013

The Nine Most Terrifying Words in the English Language: "I'm From Big Business, and I'm Here to Help"

We need to understand the reasons business interests are realigning our schools, and work to preserve the core mission of our public education system.

June 23, 2013

Public Education Suffering from Parasitic Profiteers

Those who seek to profit from public education are parasites draining resources at an unprecedented scale. Parasites are inherently destructive to their hosts.

May 04, 2013

Rebirth: New Orleans -- Documentary Poses a Moral Dilemma

this highlights for me, the moral dimension that Merrow ignores, when, at the end of the film, he proclaims this experiment a success. How can we accept that a third of the schools in New Orleans have been consigned to the status of dumping grounds for the other two thirds? How can we celebrate the creation of a system that allows schools to wall themselves off from students who are the most damaged by poverty and violence - and relegates those students to schools that cannot possibly succeed in this competitive scheme?

April 27, 2013

Jack Whelan: Can Humanism Prevail Over the Technocracy?

I have come to look at schools as a critical focal point in the fight for the soul of the nation. Our schools are foundational for our cultural life, and so much depends on our having a flourishing, humanizing public-education system. The battle over the schools is a microcosm of the battle that is going on everywhere else, but which most people feel too powerless to fight. Maintaining local control of our public schools system is essential for enabling even the possibility of such a fight.

April 01, 2013

Gates and Murdoch "Personalize" Learning with Larger Classes and Big Data Systems

A personalized learning environment is driven by the relationships between learners and one another, and with their teacher. That is why class size is so important. That is why it is so important to honor the knowledge, skill and culture that our students bring to school - because a respectful relationship with each student is based on our acceptance of them, and our desire to help them achieve their goals, rather than force them to meet predetermined benchmarks.

March 24, 2013

Jack Hassard: School Closings in Our Cities: A Deep Ecological Problem

As Deming (1994a) points out, beware of common sense when we think about such issues as ranking children by grades, ranking schools and teachers by test scores, and rewards and punishments. Deming believes that grades should be abolished, and that the ranking of people and schools should not occur. And significant to the issue of school closure, Deming suggests that taking action (such as closing a school today) may produce more problems in the future, and that a better remedy would be investigate why children in poor neighborhoods are not doing well on state mandated tests, and then do something about it.

March 20, 2013

ALEC Promotes Vouchers in Douglas County, Colorado

Not surprisingly, the voucher program drafted and approved by this ALEC-connected group conformed to ALEC's recommendations for a voucher program in Colorado : it uses "scholarships" given to parents for their "choice" of schools; it draws exclusively on state, rather than local, monies; it is structured in a way that claims not to run afoul of the Colorado constitution's Compelled Support Clause and so-called Blaine amendments; and it is even named the "Choice Scholarship" program, in conformity with the ALEC model legislation.

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