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Is school improvement a myth?

In the discussions of reauthorizing NCLB almost no one is talking about whether the school is the right unit of accountability. And that’s because we continue to assume that schools are the problem and they can be fixed. But what if school improvement was found to be a myth? —- It’s really hard to convince […]

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Local Accountability: Community Input in Education Funding

Will a community-based approach to accountability and school funding work? This piece will contain a lot of acronyms and include some of my insights on the implementation of Local Accountability. I’m a classroom teacher in Sacramento City Unified School District, and large urban local in California (43,000 students, 38% are English Learners, and over 60% […]

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Say Hello! in #Chicago April 16-20, 2015 #AERA15

  If you are interested in education, attending the AERA conference each year is a must. The conference began April 16 in Chicago. It is like being a kid in a candy store. What is AERA? From the website: The American Educational Research Association (AERA), founded in 1916, is concerned with improving the educational process by encouraging […]

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Will you stink up the privatization garden party with me?

The fix is in folks. We need a war against the ultra wealthy who believe they have a right control everything our government does in education and elsewhere. At the Cambridge Forum lecture that I gave in Harvard Square at the First Parish (Unitarian Universalist) on March 8, 2015 I discussed the role of wealthy in education reform and the […]

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Film Review: Defies Measurement weaves together problematic purposes of ed reform

In Defies Measurement, Shannon Puckett expertly weaves together the problematic purposes of testing, Common Core, corporate reform, No Child Left Behind, Teach For America, The Gates Foundation, The Broad Foundation, charter schools, and privatization. The film begins with Chipman middle school and traces the inspiration and impact that the school had on a diverse groups […]

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Do you have five minutes to understand whether @TeachForAmerica is effective?

Do you have five minutes to understand whether Teach For America (TFA) is effective? Mathematica does and they did in their latest study of TFA. More on this lead later in the review. The taxpayers of the USA paid Mathematica about $12 million for a couple of studies of TFA. We reviewed the prior 2013 […]

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The Test: Bad News (civil rights facade) and Good News (local accountability)

So do you want the good news or the bad news first? It’s a question my parents often asked me a child growing up. Which do you want to hear first? I’ll start with the bad news. High states testing has been around for a long time (See the post After Thousand of Years, #China Changing […]

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Podcast Series: Conversation with Loyola Students about Education Reform

Last week I joined students from Dr. Aurora Chang’s education reform class at Loyola University to discuss hot issues in the national conversation about education policy. We started with a few questions submitted by her doctoral students. Here is what we addressed: 1.When addressing inequity with policy makers, are there different strategies whether they are neoliberal or conservative? […]

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Louisiana’s Class of 2014 ACT Scores Are In This Post

Originally posted on deutsch29:
Today I made a new friend. This new friend works in admissions at one of Louisiana’s institutes of higher education. My new friend informed me that the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) is not the only entity to which ACT sends score reports. It turns out that ACT sells the same…

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Students MUST be heard!!: Policymakers and educators should listen

I spent an evening a few weeks ago with Californians for Justice (CFJ) at a fundraising dinner for the organization. (shout out to Dr. Roxana Marachi for inviting me!) Who are they? Californians for Justice is a statewide grassroots organization working for racial justice by building the power of youth, communities of color, immigrants, low-income families, and […]

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Local Accountability is HAPPENING: New, Peer-Reviewed, and LIVE in D.C.!

What’s happening now!? Join us LIVE in DC this weekend to discuss community-based reform as an alternative to the top-down, Texas-style reform that we have utilized across the country for the past decade! I have noticed that some blogs have post titles that don’t make much sense at first glance— so I am going with […]

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Civil Rights Organizations to @BarackObama: NCLB has “Narrow Measures” and Discouraged “Rich Curriculum”

Can you read Arne Duncan’s lips?… Yesterday a letter was released by Civil Rights organizations calling for President Barack Obama and Secretary Duncan to improve public education accountability systems to address educational equity. Wait a minute… I thought high-stakes testing and accountability was about Civil Rights (at least that is what President Bush and Secretary Paige […]

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EdWeek Series Beyond Rhetoric: If Not a Bunch of Tests… Then What Instead?

I am currently writing for the EdWeek column K-12 Schools Beyond the Rhetoric with Jack Schneider. We are covering a bevy of important topics in education policy such as Teach For America, Charters, Vouchers, High-stakes testing, and Standards. I first excerpted some of our conversation about charters schools in the post Is the Impact of Charters Schools on Achievement a Big Lie? Today, […]

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Testing and Accountability: The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same

What if you could talk to yourself 20 years in the future? In our most recent peer-reviewed study to be published in Urban Review, we wanted to know how students of similar characteristics were experiencing NCLB-style policies in the same urban school in two different decades. Our first sample of students attended the urban high school […]

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A Message to Democrats (and Republicans too) about Education Reform

Because I am California bound, I had to cancel an engagement to speak with the Sun City Democrats about education reform. To make up for it, I taped a message to them and answered their questions. I pasted the YouTube response below. Here are the questions: We read, in the Austin Statesman, that one of the […]

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Devil is in the Details: Teacher Tells Us What’s Up With Local Accountability

The current form of Texas-style No Child Left Behind high-stakes testing and accountability has run its course. It is very clear that after 20 years in Texas and 10 years across the nation, the sanctions and rewards (the rewards disappeared a long time ago) system never produced an education miracle in Texas (as posited by […]

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A-F Accountability Letter Grades: Reform or Different Name, More of the Same?

Education “reformers” are still pushing A-F accountability letter grades. In this approach, districts and schools are given letter grades like a student might receive. Are A-F letter grades a “reform”? I was inspired to write this post because Jimmie Don Aycock, current Texas House Education Committee Chair mentioned in the TFA Policy Forum held at […]

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The “War Report” Radio Show: False Promise of NCLB for Public Education

Leave No Child Behind is a moniker appropriated from the military’s “Leave No Man Behind.” Perhaps the moniker belies the mindset of the authors of high-stakes testing and accountability policies, because we are in the middle of a “war” for public education with the privateers— those seeking to profit from our education system. (See Billionaires co-opt […]

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