Archives › 2013 › November

The Common Core has hit home for me, literally.  I received from my daughter’s school a kindergarten common core workbook, and, as you might imagine, I have ‘issues’ with it. My daughter’s school, like most schools, is having a budget crisis.  So when I think that these workbooks each retail for about $30, I question…

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After two days of pursuit, I finally found him.  I had never visited anyone in jail before – had never known anyone in jail before.  Most of the people that waited on the visitor’s line with me appeared to be family.  Many were children.  The children didn’t seem to grasp where they were.  Maybe they…

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A few times a year I host a live internet ‘talk show’ which is a lot of fun.  Most of the old shows were erased by a server crash, but the two I did over the summer episode 5 and episode 6 are still archived if you want to get a sense of what the…

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Nov 15 2013

My advice to TFA staffers: Quit For America

The organization of TFA is a bit like a pyramid scheme.  There are a bunch of VPs who are making a lot of money for a non-profit, certainly six figures.  Then there are the majority of staffers, people who work in recruitment, teacher ‘effectiveness’, even the alumni team, IT, etc., who make much less.  But…

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Nov 11 2013

My review of ‘Test and Punish’

If ‘Reign of Error’ were to meet ‘The DaVinci Code’ the result would John Kuhn’s ‘Test-and-Punish: How the Texas Education Model Gave America Accountability Without Equity’.   Kuhn is the superintendent of the Perrin-Whitt school district in Texas.  I first learned of him when I marveled at his show-stealing speech at the Save Our Schools rally…

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Nov 08 2013

The lack-of-wit and lack-of-wisdom of Arne Duncan

I became aware of Arne Duncan when I sat and watched his keynote address at the Teach For America 20 year alumni summit on February 13th 2011.  In that speech he made a claim about how he helped turn around a school in Chicago by firing the teachers and turning it into a charter school. …

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Nov 08 2013

Will TNTP demand accountability from itself?

The New Teacher Project (TNTP) was a spin-off of TFA and originally led by Michelle Rhee.  Having worked as a trainer for both organizations, I generally liked working for TNTP more than TFA.  I found the TNTP trainees to be more mature and more committed to education as many of them were ‘career changers’ and…

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Nov 07 2013

On the latest D.C. NAEP Miracle

Today the results from the 2013 NAEP came out, and ‘reformers’ everywhere are celebrating the amazing gains by states with an aggressive reform agenda.  In 2011, the average national score for the four main NAEP tests (4th grade reading, 4th grade math, 8th grade reading, and 8th grade math) was about a 250, with the…

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Nov 05 2013

New TFA Miracle Claims

Today TFA released their annual letter.  Looking at the announcement of the letter on their website, I saw this image, which shows all the aspects of TFA’s influence, though, to me, it looks a lot like what you see on the wall of a police department as they are investigating a crime and hanging up…

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Nov 05 2013

Closing (The Achievement Gap) Bad

So if you’re wondering why I’ve slowed down a bit on blogging lately, there are a bunch of reasons.  One is that I’m happy about the amount of coverage phony ed reform is getting by not just other bloggers, but even in the main stream media.  A lot of my blogging stems from the feeling…

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By a somewhat frustrated 1991 alum

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