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Shattering the Myth that Schools are Inefficient

Rutgers University Professor Bruce D. Baker and Rutgers Ph.D. student Mark Weber shatter the “common myth that U.S. public schools are inefficient – that is, spend way more money than do other nations and get worse results.” The authors offer clear arguments, supported with evidence, that are accessible and sensible. You can read or download the full report, including a PowerPoint presentation, here. Photo credit: Pixabay …

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Gene Glass Says It All In This Speech

On Feb. 4th Emeritus Regents’ Professor Gene Glass of Arizona State University gave an important speech in Dublin, Ohio to the Ohio Deans Compact entitled “Would Horace Mann Tweet?” It is a lucid and concise account of the forces shaping education with a hopeful ending. Please share widely as the public needs to be informed about these forces and about their role in saving public education. …

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Update on the Lederman Lawsuit

Bruce Lederman, husband and lawyer of teacher Sheri Lederman, was interviewed on The Capitol Pressroom Radio Show yesterday to provide an update on Sheri’s lawsuit regarding APPR. Professor Audrey Amrein-Beardsley of Arizona State has also provided information on the state’s attempt to settle the case. The Ledermans are continuing to fight the irrational and unjust use of standardized tests to evaluate teachers. …

Photo: Pixabay

New York State Regents Grant from Gates Foundation

Parents and teachers who followed the saga of the Gates Foundation funded InBloom project may have reason for renewed concerns about student privacy and use of data without parental consent. Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters, together with NYSAPE, has initiated a letter writing campaign in response to the Dec. 15th memo announcing the request for acceptance of a $369,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the Regents Research Fund. (By the way, if you are wondering who will replace Chancellor Merryl Tisch on the Board of Regents, and want a replacement who will oppose sharing student data… …

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Los Angeles Unified School District Closes Schools Today

This morning the LAUSD made the decision to close all of its schools today due to a “credible threat” and have assured the public that every school will be searched and cleared by appropriate personnel. The threat involved backpacks and packages and multiple, unspecified campuses and was initially sent by email to a school board member. A press conference is being held at 10:00am local time. …

Photo: Pixabay

Down to the Wire on ESSA

The ginormous 1,059 page education bill that sailed through the house is coming up for a senate vote perhaps as early as Monday. Critics and supporters are caught in a flurry of campaigning, but only a few have had time to look carefully at problematic hidden provisions that are likely to become law. To get up to speed on what they are, see Singer, Thomas and Zeichner, then tweet/email/call your senators and make your opinions known now! …

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Teacher Certification Town Hall with NYS Regents (Monday, December 7th @6pm)

Two New York State Regents have called a Town Hall meeting to discuss public concern with new teacher certification requirements that were recently instituted by Albany.  It is a unique opportunity to engage in the conversation and network.  On the heels of last week’s protest of Pearson (the corporate partner behind the new “performance” portfolio called edTPA as well as sit-down exams), the meeting feels especially timely. All are welcome to attend. See details below. How do you feel about the new teacher certification exams? BROOKLYN TOWN HALL MEETING New York City Teacher Certification Meeting with Regents on the Higher… …

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Will Cuomo Back Down on Teacher Evaluations?

The New York Times has reported that Governor Cuomo may back down from his tough stance on using student test scores to count for 50% of a teacher’s annual evaluation. Regent Cashin is quoted as saying that the outreach has been effective. On her blog, historian Diane Ravitch said this may be a “temporary moratorium” meant to slow down the growth of the opt-out movement. …

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When There Are No Words

In the aftermath of the Paris tragedies, this video capturing a conversation between a young boy and his father is circulating the globe. We all have an obligation to help young people understand when they have questions, even when it seems there are no words to do so. …

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