Education Opportunity Network

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10/15/2013 – ‘Reform’ Kills Common Core?

THIS WEEK: Testing Kindergartners … Shutdown Hurts Vulnerable Children … Vouchers Don’t Help Students … Sixth Grader Dies For Lack Of School Nurse … Bad Education Policies Hit Higher Ed


Will Education Reform Kill The Common Core

By Jeff Bryant

“Whether you’re a big fan of the new standards or not, it should be clear that the old way of doing ‘education reform’ will not work for the Common Core. Yet that seems to be the strategy rolling out, and no one seems to be coming forward to propose a better way forward … By all indicators, teachers are generally favorable to the new standards. But like its predecessor No Child Left Behind, the Common Core is proving to have many unanticipated consequences … If you’re a fan of the Common Core … heed the voices from classrooms and communities – critics and all.”
Read more …


Kindergarten Gets Tough As Kids Are Forced To Bubble In Multiple Choice Tests

The Daily News

In New York, ” Because of a tough new curriculum and teacher evaluations, 4- and 5-year-olds are learning how to fill in bubbles on standardized math tests to show how much they know about numbers, shapes and order … Teachers said kindergartners are bewildered … Administering the exams is a complete headache, teachers said. ‘They don’t know how to hold pencils,’ said a Bronx kindergarten teacher … ‘They don’t know letters, and you have answers that say A, B, C or D and you’re asking them to bubble in . . . They break down; they cry’ … Because the little test-takers don’t know their numbers, teachers direct them to find each question by an image printed next to the answers.”
Read more …

Shutdown Continues To Affect Our Nation’s Most Vulnerable

National Education Association

“Across the country, Head Start centers – which have already been forced to cut 57,000 slots thanks to sequestration – have shut their doors to thousands of students from low-income families. As the shutdown continues, several other essential programs that help children in need will go unfunded … such as the National School Lunch Program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, special education programs or Title I programs … Amy Lafferty is a New Mexico educator who is concerned for her students’ access to basic needs. Some of the children in her school get their only regular meals from the subsidized breakfast and lunch provided with federal dollars that are now in jeopardy.”
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Vouchers Don’t Do Much For Students


“Taxpayers across the U.S. will soon be spending $1 billion a year to help families pay private school tuition – and there’s little evidence that the investment yields academic gains … The expansions are stretching voucher programs far beyond the stated intent of rescuing poor families from failing public schools … Participants don’t always have to be poor … Also, voucher recipients aren’t always trapped in failing public schools; in fact, some have never even tried the public system… Many states don’t require voucher students to take the same tests as students in public schools, so it’s impossible to compare academic results.”
Read more …

Sixth Grader’s Father Says She Wouldn’t Have Died If A School Nurse Had Been On Duty

Think Progress

“Laporshia Massey, a 12-year-old girl from Philadelphia, died on September 25 after an asthma attack went untreated at her school. Her father says that she would have lived had there been a school nurse there to treat her – but there wasn’t one, thanks to budget cuts in the Philadelphia school system … The school only has a nurse on staff two days a week … Budget cuts brought the total number of school nurses in the city down … 900 school nurses are serving 200,000 students … 52% of kids report not receiving urgent medical care, while 36% are not getting medications or treatments at prescribed intervals.”
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6 Ways Neoliberal Education Reform May Be Destroying A College Near You


“Obama’s college initiative borrows its mindset and policy measures largely from Race to the Top (RTTT), the 2010 federal education bill … Like RTTT, the plan relies on a set of neoliberal beliefs about the economic role of educational institutions and the compliant nature of those who attend and staff them … But as Obama seeks to bring this perks-and-penalties model into higher education, RTTT’s detractors are multiplying … The administration has taken a delicate, multivariate problem rooted in larger class structures and sheared it of any nuance. They rely instead on a business-inspired approach that seeks to replace what’s human in institutions with data systems and pecuniary incentives … To truly remedy the system, higher education must be understood as a public good, rather than private commodity available only to those who’ll pay the asking price.”
Read more …

Category: EON Newsletters

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