Education Opportunity Network

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8/15/2014 – Character Change In The ‘Education Reform’ Soap Opera

THIS WEEK: Teachers Not Prepared For Common Core … Test Resistance Grows … Ed-Tech Teaching Machines … Charter School Corruption … College Debt’s Long-Term Damages

TOP STORY

Character Change In The ‘Education Reform’ Soap Opera

By Jeff Bryant

“With the resignation of Michelle Rhee from the organization she founded, StudentsFirst, what we witnessed is an alteration of a script already written by very wealthy people who’ve created an elaborate fiction for how the nation should educate its children.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Despite Training, Half of Teachers Feel Inadequately Prepared for Common Core

Education Week

“Teachers are getting steadily more training in the common core, but they’re not feeling much more prepared to teach it, according to survey results … While far more teachers are attending common-core training, they are giving those sessions low marks for quality … As states edge closer to giving common-core-aligned assessments this spring, it’s notable that the survey found that few teachers were getting training about the tests. Only 23 percent reported that the assessments had been a topic of professional development … Nearly six in 10 said their main curricular materials were not aligned to the new standards.”
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National Resistance To High-Stakes Testing Grows Even Before School Year Begins

Substance News

“Resistance to the regime of high-stakes testing … never stopped organizing after last year’s testing cycle ended … With another group of secret tests being foisted on American public school children this school year … the Resistance continues to have several issues to confront. Following the debacle of the debate against Common Core … even more teachers are becoming aware of the issues … The Opt Out movement and the Resistance to high-stakes testing can presently be seen to be nationwide.”
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Google Classroom And The Teaching Machine

Hack Education

Ed-tech blogger Audrey Waters writes on her personal blog, “Much of the history of education technology from the early 20th century onward is concerned with … long-running efforts to automate assignments and assessment … These are frequently framed as ‘labor-saving’ advancements for teachers, who as psychologist Sidney Pressey wrote in 1926, are ‘woefully burdened by such routine of drill and information-fixing’ … The irony seems to be lost on Pressey, no doubt, that the drudgery of repeated grading and testing was a result of the very practices that he and his fellow psychologists had promoted. The irony is still lost on many folks today … Pressey first demonstrated his teaching machine … to the American Psychological Association in 1924 … We can see in Pressey’s machine one of the early attempts to automate the practice of standardized testing … Looking too at the Google Classroom launch with a grading scale based on 100 points (a grading scale that is not ‘natural,’ that has a history) – that technology does not simply work in the service of supporting educational practices. Technology shapes, limits, steers those practices.”
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How Will Charter Schools Deal With Their Corruption Scandals?

The Washington Post

“Charter schools were originally conceived as centers of experimentation and innovation where educators could try new approaches quickly on a small scale with a minimum of paperwork … That same openness that allows new ideas to flourish may also have left the sector vulnerable to a dangerous level of corruption … Now recent investigations from the Detroit Free Press, South Florida’s Sun-Sentinel, and the Florida League of Women Voters have painted a troubling picture of two out-of-control charter school systems … The charter school systems of Florida and Michigan were set up under the explicit assumptions that choice and market forces could allow a massive government funded set of private companies to run with only minimal oversight and regulation … It is time to start questioning the effectiveness of these policies and their cost to both taxpayers and, more importantly, to students.”
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Student Debt May Damage Grads’ Lives More Than We Realize, Gallup Finds

The Huffington Post

“College undergrads who take on a lot of student loan debt are less likely to thrive in several key areas after graduation … Major student debt tends to burden the graduates’ lives well beyond their wallets … Graduates who had taken on debt of more than $50,000 were more likely than their less-burdened counterparts to be struggling or suffering in four areas: purpose, financial, community, and physical … Even after controlling for socioeconomic status (using the common proxy of the mother’s highest level of education), the most indebted graduates still had lower ratings in well-being … Graduates’ well-being may suffer in part, Gallup suggested, because student debt often leads people to defer major life events, like getting married and buying a home.'”
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Category: EON Newsletters

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