Federal vs. National Standards

In recent reports about the movement for “common standards for core curriculums in mathematics and reading” spearheaded by various monopolies, state governors, and the U.S Department of Education, an important distinction has been raised. In today’s edition of Inside Higher Ed, Doug Lederman writes: Today represents a milestone, though, for a potential breakthrough that could… Continue reading

Defining ‘College Ready,’ Nationally

From “That too many young people come out of high school ill-prepared for college or the work force is little disputed. The questions of why that’s so and how to fix the situation, however, have too often resulted in finger pointing, with many college faculty members complaining that high schools are asking too little… Continue reading

“Uncommon Schools” Charter School Executive Will Be NYS Education Deputy

From John King, currently the managing director of an Uncommon Schools network here in the city, will next month become the State Education Department’s deputy commissioner focusing on elementary and secondary schools, the state announced today. In that job, he’ll “lead the state’s school reform efforts,” according to the department’s press release. King will… Continue reading

“A Measure of Failure” Ready for Order!

After what seemed like ages, my first book, A Measure of Failure: The Political Origins of Standardized Testing, is now shipping! From the Summary posted on the SUNYPress website: A Measure of Failure asks how and why standardized tests have become the ubiquitous standard by which educational achievement and intelligence are measured. How did standardized… Continue reading

Obama’s Back to School Speech

Here is the full transcript of the speech that President Obama gave to students across the nation on September 8, 2009. The President’s school address has caused controversy and has been the subject of debate. President Obama has released the text in advance of airing the speech so that parents were able to determine whether… Continue reading

President Obama’s Speech to the NAACP Centennial Convention

Originally published 01:54 p.m., July 17, 2009, updated 01:55 p.m., July 17, 2009 TEXT: Obama’s speech to NAACP White House transcript The following is a transcript of President Obama’s speech to the NAACP Centennial Convention Thursday night in New York: THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. What an extraordinary night, capping off an extraordinary week, capping off… Continue reading

Teach for America to Replace Veteran Teachers: Part II

On June 12, Education Week’s Stephen Sawchuk published a piece (“N.C. District Lets Go of Veteran Teachers, But Keeps TFA Hires”) on the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board’s decision to, “approve plans to fire hundreds of Veteran teachers on the teachers’ low performance on evaluations, rather than on their seniority.”

NLRB Declares Civitas Teachers Private Employees

From: Catalyst Chicago—Teachers and staff at three Civitas charter schools are confident as they focus on their next steps to get their union officially certified. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled yesterday that Civitas is a private employer, a finding that requires the employees now to hold a union election, even though the union already… Continue reading

Accountability Double-Standards

Double standard: a rule, principle, judgement, etc., viewed as applying more strictly to one group of people, set of circumstances, etc., than to another. In reviewing a front page item from Education Week (“Unions Set Sights on High-Profile Charter-Network Schools”), I’m reminded of how frustrated I have become the by vague and self-serving language of… Continue reading

On the Public/Private Distinction and Political Power

As privatization looms, conceptual clarity regarding this trend is required. Primary, secondary and higher education institutions all face changes that can be dubbed privatization. Yet recent reports point to the complexity of this trend. One example involves efforts of teachers to unionize at an Illinois non-for-profit charter school, who in turn hires for-profit EMOs to… Continue reading

Are Charter Schools Public Schools?

On Monday May 18, 2009 Chicago Public Radio blogger and education reporter, Linda Lutton, wrote an interesting post on possibly the first union charter school in Chicago. She writes: The state has certified the Chicago Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff as the bargaining unit for teachers at three campuses of the Chicago International Charter… Continue reading

Teach for America to Replace Certified Teachers

From Teach for America to the KIPP charter schools to instructional innovations at colleges and universities, we have proven strategies ready to go to scale. — Secretary of Education Arne Ducan at the 91st Annual Meeting of the American Council on Education, February 9, 2009 According to a story by Ann Doss Helms appearing in… Continue reading