Occupy the Schoolhouse!

Time magazine has named the Protester as 2011’s Person of the Year. However, as I read  the Time article reviewing the year in protests and revolutions,  I found  one critical protest  missing from the narrative: the Save Our Schools movement.  Aside from some limited coverage around the national march in July, the national media has […]

Religious Indoctination Provides Break from Test Prep: "It’s a great day in South Carolina."

Story below the video from NYTimes.  More details on rally in video are provided here by the Freedom From Religion Foundation. JEFFERSON, S.C. — It has been nearly 50 years since the Supreme Court ruled that officially sponsored prayer in public schools violated the separation of church and state. But in some corners of the […]

Unpacking TFA Support: Twisted Logic and Assumptions

Teach for America (TFA), like Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) corporate-charter schools, finds opportunities where they least expect resistance—cities devastated by natural disasters (New Orleans) or communities ravaged by poverty. As I have detailed HERE, HERE, and HERE, TFA has now leveraged itself into Charleston, SC schools. Three articles in The Post and Courier present […]

"nothing left to do but opt out"

From Tim Slekar posted at HuffPo: “If you oppose state testing, please contact your Senator and Representative… they can change, what we cannot.” Superintendent. Since our district’s superintendent has decided to actively fight the opt-out movement I have tried to engage him by sending him articles that document the folly of high stakes testing and […]

That @alexanderrusso, kind of a knucklehead, perhaps a pouting baby as well? That right @teacherken?

I wish I could take credit for the pouting baby meme, but I think that’s Firedoglake. But I think SA’s Alex Russo gets the pouting baby merit award this week for starting a little online cat fight. So, the original catalyst was here, where in a post Mr. Russo complained that the “reformers” were the […]

Gingrich Chooses Keegan for Her Strong Corruption Credentials?

Lisa G. Keegan has come a long way since her feature in the Peoria Times in 2006, which followed many months of avoiding questions emanating from a federal audit that noted the missing millions that someone raked away while she was running the Education Leaders Council during the champagne popping days for the ed industry […]

Russo Off by 4 Months (UPDATED)

If Alexander Russo had penned this near April 1, instead of January 1, and ended with “April Fools!” I would have enjoyed the irony, but instead, Russo appears serious with “Media: Reform Opponents Are Winning Online (For Now).” The list of problems with this post are extensive, but a few major points include: (1) The […]

When Bribes Don’t Buy Buy-In, New York Ed Commish Tries the Extortion Route

From the NY Times, by Fernanda Santos: New York State’s education commissioner threatened on Tuesday to withhold tens of millions of dollars in federal grants to struggling schools in New York City and nine other districts statewide if they do not prove by Saturday that they will carry out new evaluation systems for teachers and […]

Follow up: TFA in Charleston SC

I posted before about TFA coming to Charleston SC schools: http://www.schoolsmatter.info/2011/12/holding-journalists-media-accountable.html And the journalist did write a follow-up piece, with some challenges included to TFA: Teach for America has supporters, critics By Diette Courrégédcourrege@postandcourier.comWednesday, December 28, 2011 I am quoted, and solid comments against TFA are included, but the supporting comments are baffling, misguided, and […]

Ten memorable stories of 2011 from #Edweek

Here they are. I wonder if anything’s missing. Hmm.  Perhaps my blockbuster reveal that Michelle Rhee gets paid roughly $60 grand per speech. Why didn’t that make it? All I know is, a prediction for 2012: Parents and educators opt out of standardized testing. Or, movement to opt out of tests culminates in an Occupy the […]

Social Context Reform: Where to Start

Social Context Reform: Where to Start In a recent commentary on whether or not education reformers on all side have accepted the powerful impact of poverty on the educational outcomes of students, I suggested that the reform debate appears to be a struggle between two perspectives (although I again concede within each perspective there remains […]

Bilingual education, yes. But high levels of English requires access to books.

Helping Language Minority Students Develop a Reading HabitSent to the Daily Breeze (Torrance, CA), Dec 26Re: Non-English speakers’ failures hit schools (Dec 24): Bilingual education works. Children in bilingual programs consistently do better than children in all-English programs on tests of English reading. Also, studies have shown that the dismantling of bilingual programs in California […]

Plenty of Left-Over Fruitcake for 2012: Abstinence Only Surges On

From AlterNet: Reproductive-health experts breathed a sigh of relief in 2009 when President Barack Obama did away with over a decade of funding for abstinence-only funding under previous administrations (which had added up to more than $1.5 billion over ten years). But now, abstinence-only looks to be back on the conservative agenda. Under Bush, ab-only had become the norm in most […]

#TFA advances a #conservative #edreform agenda

Not necessarily a Republican agenda, but a small-c conservative one. That’s what history professor Andrew Hartman claims, and I of course agree.  But here’s a point that resonates with me in particular: In 1988, Princeton student Wendy Kopp wrote a thesis arguing for a national teacher corps, modeled on the Peace Corps —  the archetype of liberal volunteerism […]

What’s up dusters, have a good holiday? Well, I’m back with a perfect #edreform score!

Happy Holidays! Back online! It’s amazing how lost in the wilderness I feel when not connected at home here in Pittsburgh. That’s probably a good thing, you know? In any case, I took the edreform quiz from the Answer Sheet, got myself a perfect score. How about you? And the whole thing about Dusters in […]


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