The Blinders of Partisanship: How Republicans and Democrats Miss the Point – We’re All Being Screwed


Perhaps the biggest disappointment of this election cycle wasn’t Donald Trump’s victory.

It’s how quickly many of our allies on the right gave up their beliefs to fall in line.

Under President Barack Obama, those on the left and right were united against Common Core.

We both realized it was a terrible policy – though sometimes for different reasons. Never-the-less, we put aside politics to fight Bill Gates, David Coleman, Eli Broad and other privileged left-leaning elites.

And through this common struggle we came closer ideologically. I’m a New Deal FDR Democrat, but even I could see how the Obama administration overstepped its federal authority pushing charter schools, standardized testing and the Core down our throats.

But as soon as Trump ascended to the Oval Office, many conservatives gave up their objections to this same kind of federal overreach.

Apparently Obama was wrong to push charters, but Trump is just fine pushing school vouchers. Obama was wrong to require high stakes testing, but Trump is just fine requiring the same thing. Obama was wrong to push Common Core, but all these Republican-controlled state houses that could eliminate Common Core tomorrow are right to leave it in place unchallenged.

This is incredibly hypocritical. Yet it’s not just with this one issue.

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Labor History

Ms. DeVos’s Fake History About School Choice

Reblogged from The New York Times

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos offered a positively Orwellian explanation Monday of why historically black colleges and universities were created in the United States. Incredibly, she suggested that they were “real pioneers” in the school-choice movement and “started from the fact that there were too many students in America who did not have equal access to education.”

The Education Department’s own website — on a page titled “Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Higher Education Desegregation” — offers a more accurate history. These colleges, it shows, were created, beginning in the 19th century, as a direct response to rigid racial segregation when the doors of white colleges were typically closed to African-Americans.

Rather than integrate colleges, the Southern and border states established parallel, Jim Crow systems in which black college students were typically confined to segregated campuses handicapped by meager budgets and inferior libraries and facilities. Litigation over the funding equity issue continues to this day.

Ms. DeVos’s insulting distortion of history, which she tried to pull back after furious criticism, grows out of her obsession with market-driven school policies…

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Desperately seeking standards, or why we can’t copy and paste our way to school success

Reblogged from Bridge by  Ron Koehler

The new session of the Michigan Legislature started recently and it didn’t take long for populist priorities to start flowing.  Eliminate the income tax.  Eliminate prevailing wage laws.  Eliminate the Common Core, er, the Michigan Content Standards.

Ron Koehler is assistant superintendent of the Kent Intermediate School District.

Why eliminate the Michigan Content Standards, which guide the work of teachers and student learning? Because they’re too much like the Common Core state standards which, among some, are akin to Lord Voldemort, or “he who must not be named” of Harry Potter fame.

Why? Because the Common Core standards represent “federal” standards, except they don’t, because they were adopted by the Council of Chief School Officers and individual states.

In any event, it’s unpopular these days to confuse the truth with facts. So the Michigan standards must go.

In their place, Rep. Gary Glenn of Midland would have us call up the Massachusetts standards of 2009, paste them into a Microsoft Word document, go to the “Find” tab and replace all references to Massachusetts with Michigan.

Yep, that’s it. Got standards!

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Reblogged from The New Yorker by  Steven Markow

I am writing at you in the year of 2040. And I am writing to say thank you so much because without you I would not have learned so much. I am just a boy without a lot of money. My parents say I have a lot of money in the bank but every time I try to get in there I get stuck in the spinning door. One time I got so stuck that I got bored and smashed through all the shiny walls to get to the candy basket. Then I forgot what I was supposed to do so I went home without any money. But the candy was so good!

I am the smartest and oldest student in my school so next year I will go to Harvard right away. I will study rules and politics so some day I can make them good like you did. I would not have this amazing scenario of life without you so thank you again to you.

My private school cost my parents lots of big money (they are better at going into banks than me). I got a good education here and did real good. My favorite parts of school are Prayer Class, Pledge of Allegiance Class, Food Eating Time, Run Around Time, Nap Times 1, 2, and 3, and Science (Nap Time 4).

I like my teachers because they are the only ones left. A lot of them went home because they couldn’t stop crying every time we talked.

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Louisiana Research: When Tenure Ends, Teachers Leave.

Reblogged from deutsch29 Mercedes Schneider’s EduBlog

In 2012, the Louisiana legislature passed Act 1, commonly known as the “teacher tenure law.” Moreover, the Louisiana State Department of Education (LDOE) has translated Act 1 into an evaluation system whereby 50 percent of a teacher’s evaluation is connected to “student learning”– the bottom line of which is student test score outcomes.

Act 1 began in 2012 as House Bill 974. The reason it is called Act 1 is that the 2012 Louisiana legislature rammed it though as the first act, with calculated speed, amid an atmosphere dripping with then-Governor Bobby Jindal’s business-and-industry-backed intention to bring “accountability” in the evaluating of the state’s teachers.

Once 2012 hit, Louisiana teachers began considering how and when to leave the profession. And each year beginning with 2012, Louisiana’s teacher workforce has experienced a noticeable exit of many experienced, seasoned teachers who otherwise would not have likely chosen to leave the profession so soon.

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