Emily Talmage: Beware The Philanthrocapitalists’ Big New Plan

By dianeravitch

Bill Gates has a big new idea. He has gotten together with a few other big-time philanthropists and created a pool of $500 Million, with which they plan to solve the really big problems in health, education, and economic opportunity. They call their collaboration “Co-Impact.” One of the collaborators is Jeff Skoll, who was one of the producers of the public school-bashing hitjob “Waiting for Superman.”

Emily Talmage is not happy about what’s coming from this group. She sees it as yet another attempt by the super-elites to impose their will on the rest of us, who lack their money and power.

Let us stipulate: no one elected a Bill Gates and his friends to remake social policy. Sure, Trump is busy dismantling and shredding social policy, but who put Bill in charge? One thing we can say about the richest man in America: Every one of his interventions into American education has failed. There is no reason to believe he has learned anything from the slow collapse of VAM and the catastrophe of Common Core. To the contrary, he is still propping CCSS up with new millions, although it’s very name is mud.

Emily writes:

“Gates is one giant, gnarly tree in an dark, overgrown forest of private “givers” who are dead-set on remaking our nation into something reminiscent of a feudalistic society.

“I say it’s time to investigate the whole rotten system that’s allowing this to happen.

“Seriously, folks. This just can’t be okay.”

…read more

Source: Diane Ravitch Common Core

Laura Chapman: Gates Still Pouring Millions into Common Core

By dianeravitch

Many people wrongly assume that the Common Core is dead, since Trump said he would kill it and Dezvos claimed she never supported it.

But Bill Gates launched and financed Common Core, and he is still funding it.

Laura Chapman writes:

“Anyone who thinks that Gates has given up on the Common Core is wrong.

“He is still pouring money into districts that will push it. His idea of “collaboration and listening” is pay others to come into a district and offer trainings to teachers and principals whom he regards as hapless, or lazy, or incompetent, or insufficiently dedicated to the Gates agenda, including Gates-Funded the Common Core.

“I just checked the database for the Gates foundation. In just 2016 and 2017 he has poured $32,175, 526 million into pushing the Common Core.

“Grants for this purpose were sent to the twelve groups who are willing to do for-hire work defined by the Gates Foundation.

“The following received grants the largest of these grants:

Center for American Progress, $1,000,000;
EdSource Inc., $1,362,606;
New Teacher Center $2,000,000;
Loyola Marymount University, $2,000,000;
CSU Fullerton Auxiliary Services Corporation, $2,000,000;
WestEd, $4,350,875;
University of Kentucky Research Foundation, $5,000,000;
CORE Districts $6,350,000;
New Venture Fund, $7,900,010.

“Gates has sent another $7,614,758 to those CORE Districts in California in the last three years, in addition to the grant for $6,350,000 ear-marked to push the Common Core (above).

“CORE stands for the California Office to Reform Education. CORE has no formal connection to the California State Board of Education, CORE and the districts it has signed up is called a “collaborative.” I think not.

“CORE is a privately funded organization that engineered a contractual takeover of some of the largest districts in California. The contract takes the form of a Memorandum of Understanding between the superintendent of each district and CORE. That MOU allows CORE to determine almost everything that happens in some …read more

Source: Diane Ravitch Common Core

SomeDAM Poet: Edgar Allan Poe, The Raven, Betsy DeVos, and Common Core

By dianeravitch

Due to my technological deficiencies, I have lost some of the visual notes in the original. If you want to see the original, as written by the poet, look through the comments on September 29, about 3 p.m.


Speaking of Poe

“The Teacher” (Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven”, with some minor modifications)

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and glorious volume of Coleman lore—
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.
“’Tis some visitor,” I muttered, “tapping at my chamber door—
Only this and nothing more.”

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December;
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow;—vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow—sorrow for the Common Core—
For the rare and radiant standard whom the Coleman named The Core —
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken, sad, uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me—filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
“’Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door—
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;—
This it is and nothing more.”

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
“Sir,” said I, “or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you”—here I opened wide the door;—
Darkness there and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before;
But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered term, “Common Core”
This I …read more

Source: Diane Ravitch Common Core

New Zealand: How Researchers Helped to Kill National Standards

By dianeravitch

New Zealand is one of the few—perhaps the only—nation that abandoned national standards.

As Professor Martin Thrupp Explains here, scholars and researchers helped to expose the flaws of national standards.

The national standards were driven by political, not educational, purposes. The ruling party pushed them and couldn’t stop pushing them, ignoring all criticism.

Thrupp’s book, co-edited with Bob Lingard, Meg Maguire, and David Hursh, “The Search for Better Educational Standards: A Cautionary Tale” teaches us that concerted efforts by educators, scholars, and parents can roll back ruinous education policy.

He writes:

“The National-led Government had become fully invested in the National Standards policy. When it was first announced in 2007, it was National’s big idea for education – the ‘cornerstone’ of its education policy. Over the 10 years that followed, the Government had dismissed all criticisms. Any late turning back would be a sign of weakness, and instead the National party wanted to plough on with this truly awful project that had already became a world-class example of how not to make education policy….

“Despite the National-led Government’s adherence to the National Standards, researchers and academics certainly pushed back against the policy…In fact, researchers and academics did a great deal in this space! A particular highlight for me was the 2012 open letter signed by over 100 education academics against the public release of the National Standards data. But there were countless other instances of academics and researchers opposing the National Standards, either publicly or more behind the scenes. Opinion pieces, articles, TV debates, radio, public meetings, meetings behind closed doors – and all the rest of it. Chapter 8 of A Cautionary Tale, about the politics of research, gives numerous examples.

“A number of us also did empirical research that helped to explain how the National Standards were a problem …read more

Source: Diane Ravitch Common Core

Noocube Smart Drug – A Genuine Supplement That Makes You Smarter

By Laura Jackson

how noocube works

This is not a scam. This is not a drill. There is a new drug that has been introduced that guarantees to improve and boost your brain’s functionality. Perhaps you have heard of it, or still wondering, “What is Noocube smart drug?” It is a dietary supplement that is a kind of Nootropic (supplements intended to enhance your brain’s functionality). There are other Nootropics out there but Noocube is in a class of its own. Read on to find out how and why.

Why Noocube?

Noocube is a supplement that is intended to be taken regularly, preferably according to your diet. It improves your degree of motivation, short and long-term memories, and your capacity to focus on any task that demands your full attention. You only need two capsules, and within thirty minutes you will feel its effect; enhanced focus and mental clarity.

You will become more efficient, productive, less stressed and depressed, and it keeps your mind and body in harmony enabling you to push yourself to the limits. You can increase the dosage if you feel it is not working for you, but it is recommended that one should not exceed four capsules within 24 hours. Its effect on your brain lasts for eight to ten hours.

Noocube contains no caffeine, so you will no longer have to take hundreds of mugs of coffee with the jitters and anxiety that ensue owing to too much caffeine. Rather, it has been formulated with seven strong ingredients (Alpha GPC, Huperzine A, Bacopa, Cat’s Claw, L-Theanine & L-Tyrosine, and Oat Straw) meant to quickly and safely enhance your cognitive ability.

How Noocube Works:

Noocube is the product of years of research by a team of neuroscientists who have gathered and studied the most powerful natural ingredients to ascertain no one’s health will be at risk while …read more

Source: Stop Common Core NY

Laura Chapman on Bill Gates’ Hubris, Ignorance, and Folly

By dianeravitch

A couple of days ago, Bill Gates said he has a new plan to reform education. As I pointed out in a post, Bill Gates is batting 0 for 3. He dropped $2 Billion into breaking up large high schools and turning them into small schools. He started in 2000, didn’t see a big jump in test scores, and backed out in 2008. Then, having decided that the answer to high test scores was to punish teachers whose student scores didn’t go up, he pushed value-added Assessment, partnering with Arne Duncan and Race to the Top. Thousands of educators were fired and many schools were closed based on Gates’s fancy. That lasted from 2008 until now, and it has been written into state law in many states, although it has distorted the purpose of education and created massive demoralization among teachers and a national teacher shortage. Then he funded the Common Core, in its entirety. It is his pedagogical Frankenstein, his personal belief that education should be completely standardized, from standards to curriculum to teacher education to teacher evaluation. Speaking to the National Board for Certified Teachers a few years ago, he praised standardization and talked about the beauty of standard electrical plugs. No matter where you live, you can plug in an appliance and it works! Clearly, that was his metaphor for education. What did he spend on the creation and promotion of the Common Core? No one knows for sure, but estimates range from $200 Million to $2 Billion.

There is one other massive Gates failure that I forgot to mention: inBloom. This was a $100million investment in data mining of students’ personally identifiable data. Several states and districts agreed to turn their data over to inBloom, which wipould use the data as its owners chose. Parents …read more

Source: Diane Ravitch Common Core

Ann P. Cronin: How to Prepare Students for the Future

By dianeravitch

Many years back, I wrote an essay about the poor track record of those who purport to know the jobs of the future. I looked back at predictions made by great minds over the 20th century, and they were all wrong. We don’t seem to have a magic crystal ball.Just the other day, a neighbor asked me to advise his daughter, a high school student, about how to prepare for the future. We haven’t met yet, but when we do, I will urge her to get a solid liberal arts education, to immerse herself in literature, history, and delve deeply into her interests.

Ann Cronin, who has been a teacher, administrator, and all-round accomplished educator in Connecticut, uses this post to offer advice about how to prepare for an unknown future. She calls it “a toolkit for the future.”

The most important preparation is to develop as thinkers and learners.

Here are three practical ways that teachers can do that:

“Teach students to question.
“Teach students to write essays that explore questions of importance to them.
“Teach students to write essays about how they came to know what they know.”

She observes:

“The Common Core State Standards do not ask students to think in these ways. They are falsely marketed as being about critical thinking; those standards do not give students the learning and thinking skills needed for the future. Also, no standardized test in the United States assesses questioning, collaborating, creative thinking, or learning to learn skills. Every minute of class time given to preparing students for those tests takes students away from what they really need to learn.

“The future is almost upon us; it is just about here. It’s time to give students what they need. Invite them to question, to explore possibilities, to imagine solutions, to grow and change as thinkers, …read more

Source: Diane Ravitch Common Core

Denisha Jones: When All Else Fails, Save Childhood

By dianeravitch

Denisha Jones, a professor of early childhood education at Trinity Washington University, gave this talk at Sarah Lawrence College this past summer. Please read her talk in her entirety.

An excerpt:

I inspire my teachers—regardless of the label they give themselves—to be advocates or activists for their profession. I don’t want them to spend the next several years in survival mode until they burn out and leave the field altogether. Advocacy and activism serve as nourishment for the soul. They can sustain you even when things look bleak and the future is uncertain.

As I move forward, determined to protect public education as a right, what drives me is the acceptance of our failure. I am ready to declare our efforts, and the efforts of those who came before me, as failures. This may seem harsh, but as we know, failure is essential for success. “Failure is instructive,” John Dewey once said, “The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.”

We know that protecting children from the experience of failure is not good for their development. Failure can be a tool for learning how to get it right. Without failure, how do we know that we have even really succeeded? This doesn’t mean that education activists haven’t won some important battles. But they’ve tended to benefit one school or one community, and haven’t reached the national or state levels. Our attempts to stop the spread of the Global Education Reform Movement (GERM) have failed.

Before we examine our failures more closely, I want to quickly review what I mean by GERM so that we are all on the same page. Pasi Sahlberg notes that the movement emerged in the 1980s and consists of five global features: standardization; focus on …read more

Source: Diane Ravitch Common Core

Trump and Common Core: He Makes No Effort to Get Rid of It

By dianeravitch

It is not unusual to say that Trump lied about something. It happens every day.

But he does try to keep his campaign promises. He has tried and failed to build the Wall, and Mexico won’t pay for it. He has tried and failed to get rid of Obamacare.

But he hasn’t even tried to get rid of Common Core, which he promised to do. Everyone he interviewed for Education Secretary–including Eva Moskowitz and Michelle Rhee–supports Common Core.

Betsy DeVos was a supporter of Common Core before she became Secretary of Education, like her mentor Jeb Bush. She recently nominated at least three strong supporters of Common Core–former Michigan Governor John Engler, former North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue, and test expert Greg Cizek, who helped develop one of the Common Core tests (Smarter Balanced Assessment)–to the governing board of the National Assessment of Educational Progress.

DeVos has not made any effort to discourage use of the Common Core.

Opponents of the CCSS: you were hoaxed! Trump will not get rid of it, nor will Betsy DeVos.

…read more

Source: Diane Ravitch Common Core

Daniel Koretz, Testing Expert, on the Misuse of Standardized Testing and the Failure of the “Reform” Movement

By dianeravitch

In this post, Valerie Strauss interviews Daniel Koretz of Harvard University about his new book The Testing Charade: Pretending to Make Schools Better.

I just finished reading the book, which is a devastating critique of the current “reform” movement because of its reliance on standardized testing. Koretz is not anti-testing or even anti-standardized testing. He is upset by the misuse of standardized testing. He says that it was completely predictable that putting high stakes on tests would lead to score inflation, gaming the system, and cheating (I said the same things in The Death and Life of the Great American School System in chapter 8, about the false promise of accountability). He says that the so-called reform movement has been completely misled by its obsession with high stakes. Consequently, none of the gains that it claims can be trusted. He also lambastes the deeply flawed Common Core state standards, which presumes the value of having a single standard for all students regardless of their different ambitions, abilities, and interests.

I intend to review the book at a later date, and I will express both my admiration for the book and my concerns about the position Koretz takes about the value of standardized testing under the “right” circumstances. I appreciate the fact that he demolishes the “reform” movement and its alleged but nonexistent gains.

I don’t agree with him about the value of standardized tests. Remove the high stakes and they have a limited purpose. Unfortunately, as he points out, the “reformers” see test-based accountability as the heart and soul of their movement. If they can’t use tests to punish students, teachers, principals, and schools, then what is the point?

But for me, the current obsession with standardized testing is pernicious for other reasons. It reduces learning to multiple choice questions …read more

Source: Diane Ravitch Common Core